For the latest Dog movie, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” – everybody knows going in that the formula will be the same as just about all the recent Dog movies that have been released. The Dog will slowly get old and eventually die. There will be scenes of extreme happiness and joy, followed by overwhelming depression. The problem is, we have all seen movies like this too many times. Critics correctly call movies like this “tear jerkers”, and when the story is manipulative, like this one is, it can cause resentment from the audience.
The reason for the low reviews for this film is because there is nothing new in this story, other than the fact that the Dog is fan of the sport of Car Racing and the main character, played by Milo Ventimiglia races cars for a living. He gets married, his wife played by Amanda Seyfried and has a daughter – nothing new here. As with most of the recent Dog movies, the audience hears the Dog’s thoughts through the narration of an actor; for this film the narration is performed by Kevin Costner. I was surprised that Costner accepted this role, because in my opinion, the screenplay was not strong enough for someone of his caliber. All of this is a retread of so many Dog movies we have seen too many times already.
In the interest of trying a new idea for a Dog or a Cat movie, why not write a story where no Pet or human being dies for a change. Formula movies can be enjoyable and work much of the time, but due to the flood of recent Dog movies like this one, this is all getting old very quickly. Its time to create something new.
I agree with the low 49% ratings for The Art of Racing in the Rain and I do not recommend this film.