When I first saw the trailer for The Art of Racing in the Rain, my first thought was: this is just another sad dog movie I do not need to see. By the end of the trailer, I had looked over at my sister and said: this is another sad dog movie I most definitely have to see.
I love dogs. Everyone who knows me knows I love dogs. So, I was down for the cuteness, especially from a golden retriever but also ready for the emotional breakdowns, the tissues were certainly out. What I was not ready for was the most absurd, ridiculous and insanely weirdness of this film.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is an emotional drama told from a dog’s point of view. Yes, you heard me right. The entire film is narrated and monologued by the dog. Based on the bestselling novel by Garth Stein, Milo Ventimiglia starring as Danny Swift, a Formula One race car driver adopts a golden retriever pup called Enzo. The film follows them developing a one-of-a-king friendship while expanding their family. With the added bonus that the dog wants to be reincarnated into a human.
I believe this film is MEANT to be funny at times. But, put simply, it’s not. I understand they had to make the film different and unique, not another rendition of the amazing Marley & Me but this film is a whole other level of crazy. That scene with the hallucinations of the demonic Zebra committing suicide? Honestly, there was no logic. What is amazing though is who voices the dog. Kevin Costner! Some of the lines are so unbelievably stupid coming out of his mouth, I laughed out loud.
At the same time though, this film does have some positives. For one, it’s decently acted and shot and it’s paced well to the point that for a 2 hour film I didn’t find myself getting tired and bored, ready to leave the cinema.
In addition, there are a few beautiful messages about how loyal dogs are and how deeply they care for their owners and about the bumpy roads of life and the ability for dogs to be supportive and there for you. This film won’t be a favourite of mine for the year, but if you look past the crazy and weird, it was worth the watch simply because I love dogs and Milo Ventimiglia.