The Art of Racing in the Rain Movie Details
|Directed by||Simon Curtis|
|Screenplay by||Mark Bomback|
|Based on||The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein|
|Music by||Dustin O’Halloran Volker Bertelmann|
|Edited by||Adam Recht|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Box office||$33.6 million|
Over the past couple of years I’ve seen a few sentimental dog movies released – ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, its sequel ‘A Dog’s Journey’ and also ‘A Dog’s Way Home’. Admittedly I’m more of a cat person, but still, there’s something about these films that makes me feel as though I’m sitting next to somebody who’s chopping onions. After seeing the trailer for ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ I said to myself “here we go again”.
Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia) is a race car driver dedicated to someday making it to Formula One. With his dog Enzo (Kevin Costner) narrating the story, we watch as Denny uses the techniques learned from his years in racing to help him navigate the highs and lows of everyday life.
I’ve read a number of reviews that have criticized this film for being too melodramatic and saccharine. To be fair it’s what I say about half the TV movies my mum watches on those random film channels, so I don’t mind people having such an opinion. I won’t deny that this film was made with the purpose of being emotionally manipulative. The difference, in this case, is that ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’, in my opinion, was more enjoyable than 99% of those films.
For starters the casting of Costner to voice Enzo the dog was inspired. His gravelly tone provided the perfect acoustic for what was supposed to be a wise old dog.
The performances across the board were solid actually. I thought Ventimiglia (who I’d usually just refer to as ‘the guy from Heroes’) was good in the lead role. Amanda Seyfried was great as Denny’s love interest, Eve. There were also fine turns from Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan, Gary Cole, and Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
I enjoyed the flow of the story. It moved from one event/milestone to the next – never rushing, but also never overstaying it’s welcome. It’s rare to find a film this well-paced. The score was ideal for the mood being created, and the racing scenes looked great.
The only part I think I could criticize is a hallucinogenic scene involving a stuffed toy zebra. For spoiler reasons, I’m not going to discuss it. All I’ll say is that it felt slightly out of place stylistically with the rest of the film.
With my reviews, I place a lot of emphasis on emotion. The truth is this film had me sitting with a near-constant lump in my throat for its running time, before causing me to quietly wipe away a tear as the screen faded to black for the credits. Cinema is all about emotions. As far as I’m concerned if a film can make you laugh, cry, jump, etc then it’s succeeded. I loved the way the author Garth Stein’s novel of the same name was adapted to the big screen by screenwriter Mark Bomback. For me ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ was a wonderfully written story, well-directed by Simon Curtis; and well-performed by the entire cast. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’ve complained so many times about comedies failing to make me laugh or horrors failing to make me jump. This was an emotional drama that succeeded in making me cry. Congratulations, the job is done!!!