The Art of Racing in the Rain: Movie Review

I was invited to a complementary screening of The Art of Racing in the Rain.

The Hubbs and I get one date night a month. So I was thrilled when the opportunity to see an advanced screening of The Art of Racing in the Rain fell on date night this month. Grandma was already lined up to babysit. It was perfect. 

the art of racing in the rainFrom the studio: Based on the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is a heartfelt tale narrated by a witty and philosophical dog named Enzo (voiced by Kevin Costner). Through his bond with his owner, Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia), an aspiring Formula One race car driver, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition and understands that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life. The film follows Denny and the loves of his life – his wife, Eve (Amanda Seyfried), their young daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), and ultimately, his true best friend, Enzo.

You see, I am a die hard fan of This is Us, so several months ago when I heard Milo Ventimiglia was going to be in a movie, I quickly convinced my book group girls to read the book so we could have another excuse for a girls’ night when the movie came out. Thanks, Milo. Also, fun fact: this movie was produced by McDreamy Patrick Dempsey himself. Heartthrobs, unite.

Anyway, Date Night #105 was underway. Hubbs (who has not read the book) and I arrived at the theater and ordered all the stuff we don’t eat on a regular basis (creme brulee cheesecake!) and got settled in with high hopes for a great movie.

It did not disappoint! The relationship between Enzo and his human, Denny, is a delight to watch. I will even go as far as to say this movie was better than the book. What? I know. That is never the case. But, the story line in the movie takes a slight and pleasant deviation from the book in an effort to keep the family friendly PG rating.  No spoilers here, but having read the book, I could see the shift in the story line coming and I was so pleased that they found a way to work in, and resolve, the main character’s dilema in a very effective way, without the slightly more adult theme in the book. 

Now, if you’ve seen any dog movie in recent history you may be expecting to shed a few tears. Well, you wouldn’t be the only one. Surprisingly, it was the story of love and adversity shared between these family members that got the tears brimming for me, not necessarily Enzo, the faithful companion and narrator.

I would recommend this movie for all ages and interests. There is one brief physical altercation, but it is non-violent (again, keeping it PG). Date night, family night, girls’ night… go see it on August 9th. Be ready to laugh and maybe cry, and see the world from a new perspective. I’ll be seeing it again with my book group girls!


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