Denny Swift is a Formula One race car driver who understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate everyday life. Besides his career, Denny has three loves of his life — his beautiful wife, their young daughter and his best friend, which is a dog that wants to be reincarnated into a human.
Plot: Through his bond with his owner, aspiring Formula One race car driver Denny, golden retriever Enzo learns that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life.
Director: Simon Curtis
Aspect Ratio: 1.85.1
Runtime: 109 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Its heartstring-tugging overtures may be difficult for dog lovers to resist, but The Art of Racing in the Rain is sentimental and contrived.
“A breath of fresh air.”
Reiterating the plot: based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a heartwarming tale narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through his unique insight into the human condition, Enzo helps his owners — race car driver Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), his wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried) and daughter Zoe — navigate life with a refreshing perspective on friendship, family and unconditional love.
A lot, if not all of the aspects of this movie work in favor of the story it was trying to tell. You can put it down as a simple-easy-going journey of self-discovery told through the perspective of Enzo, the golden retriever. At first I thought it was going to be “another dog voice-over movie,” but it didn’t take too long to shut that out and enjoy what was unfolding in front of me.
Going in, I was already a fan of Milo Ventimiglia because my family watches This is Us every Tuesday night, so there may be some bias there, but he and Amanda Seyfried should be applauded for their acting — that includes Kevin Costner voicing the dog, all-around great work. My two-cents on the movie? I expected this to be average at best, but it was more than I anticipated — you’ll get the full range of emotions from heartwarming to heartbreaking. If anything, I’d say it’s a breath of fresh air. Go and give it watch however you can access it.
The Art of Racing in the Rain is not as horrible as some critics are making it out to be — as you can see from the ratings, it was scored a 43% from the critics and 96% from the audience. (I’d like to think it falls somewhere in the middle.) As a caveat, we are nearing the end of the 2019, which means a lot of my current viewings are Academy Award contenders ranging from Parasite, The Lighthouse, Harriet, Jojo Rabbit, etc, — with another dozen on the way… Watching a light-hearted movie without having to analyze every aspect was a plus. It’s okay to enjoy a movie that’s great for the moment which isn’t trying to chase awards — average movies are great and we need more of them.
Finally, I have to note to all the buyers out there that Black Friday is a few weeks away and this will surely be discounted. If you need it now, you can grab it now at your local retailer — it’s a recommended movie and a solid addition to your collection. If you wait for the sale, make sure to add it to your list and gift it for the Holiday season.
Did you catch The Art of Racing in the Rain in the theater? Were you a fan of this movie? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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