Samantha Incorvaia

Arizona Republic

Published 10:08 PM EDT Aug 7, 2019

The trailer for “The Art of Racing in the Rain” boasts that it’s “from the studio that brought you ‘Marley & Me.'” 

Fans of dog movies know where this going, and that’s mainly toward a beloved pooch dying. And this film wastes no time in dealing with pet mortality.

In fact, this film will make viewers want to give their dog a hug.

Based on a book by Garth Stein, the star pooch is Enzo, a golden retriever (voiced by Kevin Costner) that is nearing the end of his life. He believes in a Mongolian saying that a dog “who is prepared” with life experience will become a human in its next life. So the philosophical dog takes viewers on a full-circle story involving the lessons he learned with his human, Denny (Milo Ventimiglia), a race-car driver, and Denny’s wife, Eve (Amanda Seyfried), through all their ups and downs.

Bring tissues, because “Art of Racing” (★★★ out of five; rated PG; in theaters Friday) is as sad, uplifting and clichéd as it sounds. But, surprisingly, most of the melancholy moments follow the humans involved in Enzo’s life. The dog is not the main focus for most of the film; instead, he’s used as comic relief, most of which is funny, and as a backseat driver for the journey.

It’s definitely a family-friendly film, but some of the slower moments might bore kids. More importantly: There isn’t anything astoundingly different about this film. It’s about a dog, and it’s absolutely cute and sweet. It’s also predictably heartwarming and it offers nothing new.

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Author : Arizona Republic

Publish date : 2019-08-08 02:08:23