Starring: Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried
Director: Simon Curtis
Running Time: 109 mins
The Art Of Racing In The Rain is an American film about the life and career of an aspiring racecar driver, told from the perspective of his faithful golden retriever dog.
The Art Of Racing In The Rain is admittedly a fairly simple film, but with an enormous heart, it’s difficult not to fall in love with. From the gorgeous tale of friendship between man and dog to an inspiring and heartfelt story about the strength of family, it’s a film that hits home with relatable emotions in an enjoyable and moving way.
Of course, there are more emotionally challenging films out there. But there aren’t so many that take a blissfully simple tale and turn it into something really special. That’s what The Art Of Racing In The Rain does.
The majority of its narrative beats are fairly predictable, and its biggest emotional twists aren’t gut-wrenchingly sad. However, the film tells the journey of its characters through life in such an earnest and heartfelt manner, making it enormously endearing throughout.
Seen from the perspective of a loyal dog, the story of a man’s life feels all the more homely, cosy and picturesque. Couple that with an enjoyable and still touching insight into the bond a dog feels with his owner, and you’ll be smiling while holding back the tears.
This film brilliantly walks that tightrope of fluffy, light-hearted storytelling and genuinely arresting drama, hitting the sweet spot between the two. There’s so much that makes The Art Of Racing In The Rain a cute, happy and easy watch, but there are also moments that will have you in floods of tears.
Beyond the man-and-his-dog relationship, this film is such a heartfelt perspective into life itself. With similarities to Marley & Me and even to an extent Boyhood, The Art Of Racing In The Rain is filled with nostalgia for times gone by, hope for the future, and the warmth of familial love.
But those beautiful emotional highs come at a price. The film makes you appreciate the blissful value of life by putting you through some heartbreaking trials, to the extent that you’ll be a mess of blubbering tears and emotions of unparalleled joy.
Bolstered by a wide range of performances that at first falter, but soon become intimately moving (including Kevin Costner’s voice turn as the wise old voice of the dog, narrating as he looks back on his life), and directing that isn’t afraid to showcase the highs and lows of life in a way that many other films might feel too on-the-nose, The Art Of Racing In The Rain is a genuinely gorgeous watch throughout.
It’s warm and heartfelt, and moving and heartbreaking at the same time. With an enjoyable and endearing atmosphere prevailing throughout, you’ll definitely come out of the film with a smile on your face, but with moments of deeply powerful emotion, you may find it difficult to make it the whole way through without shedding a tear or two. So, that’s why I’m giving The Art Of Racing In The Rain an 8.4 overall.