The Art of Racing in the Rain review – a canine car crash | Drama films

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It’s hard to wrap your head around the demented logic that spawned a film as crazily unwieldy as this. People like winsome golden retriever pups is presumably the thinking here. And they like motor racing. Let’s shove them together in a movie that also muses on reincarnation, sports psychology, custody issues and brain cancer. Oh, and let’s have the whole thing narrated by Kevin Costner, playing a dog. And let’s cover it with branding for a well-known Italian luxury car company. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) directs, and the screenplay was adapted from a book by Garth Stein, so perhaps he’s the demonic zebra plush toy in this scenario. Did I mention there’s also a demonic zebra plush toy in the movie? There is.

The film stars Milo Ventimiglia, who is handsome in a kind of glossy, unchallenging way, like a nice piece of well-put-together luggage. He plays Denny, an aspiring racing driver who buys a puppy on a whim and christens it Enzo. “Call it fate. Call it luck.” Costner gives Enzo a gravel-blasted rumble of a voice that makes him sound more like a chain-smoking dive bar derelict than a retriever. “All I know is I was meant to be his dog.”

The jealous bond between pup and his man is tested when Denny meets Eve (Amanda Seyfried). But Eve shows the kind of loyalty usually reserved for canine companions, and spends most of her scenes urging Denny never to give up on his dreams of motor racing stardom. It’s laughably contrived and shamelessly calculating. Dog’s bollocks, but not in a good way.

Source: The Guardian
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