THE ratings information for this film say there are “ . . . scenes of emotional upset” and it opens with a man walking into his house to find his dog dying on the floor.
Safe to say The Art Of Racing In The Rain is on a mission to make Marley & Me seem like Porky’s.
It is a relentless, unforgiving heartbreaking film about a man’s relationship with his Labrador through all the highs and – actually scratch that – just the lows of life.
Oh, did I mention the film is seen through the eyes of the dog, who has the conscience of Kevin Costner, sounding like he’s necked a bottle of Hennessy and a carton Marlboro Red?
Milo Ventimiglia plays Denny, a racer driver who somewhat irresponsibly buys a puppy from a farm despite spending his entire life at a racetrack and we follow the pair through friendship, love and tragedy.
Here, Costner’s Look Who’s Talking-style monologue begins in earnest, offering observations about life so ridiculous and naff you can’t help but be swept up by it.
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Costner is both the joke and the saviour of this film that knows exactly what it wants from you – tears and lots of them.
It doubles down on a cute dog reflecting on his devoted life with a kaboom cancer and does not stop until your throat hurts and you can’t talk properly.
It’s hammy, cliched and utterly devastating. It got me. Damn.