A Look at the Movie

Claire Lawrence, Opinions Editor

Last night I decided to sit down, test my emotions and finally watch “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a dramatic and romantic yet comical film that put the incredible story by Garth Stein on the silver screen. Directed by Simon Curtis, this magical adaptation stars both well-known and arising actors, such as Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried and Kevin Costner, who voices the adorable golden retriever, Enzo. 

This creative film features a love story like no other. Following not only the relationship of Denny, played by Ventimiglia, and Eve, played by Seyfried, but also the bond between a man and his dog, it’s already a movie bound to captivate audiences of all ages. The story starts will Denny’s spontaneous decision to buy a puppy one afternoon and picking Enzo out from the liter. Named after a Ferrari, this adventurous pup and busy racecar driver begin their journey together in the urban area of Seattle. Once Eve, Denny’s love interest, steps into the picture, the story takes a bit of a turn. The audience relives the life of a family: getting married, buying a house, settling down. All of these experiences are pictured not only in the perspective of Enzo, keeping some shots private and secretive, but also narrated by him.

Diving head first into one of the biggest aspects of this film that caught my attention, I would have to say the cinematography was phenomenal and perfectly captured all angles and moods necessary for telling such a heart-felt story. Most of the shots are done normally, with cameras focusing on family aspect and picturing the dog living alongside them, but some were done from the dogs perspective. The audience gets to see Enzo’s world through his own eyes, with close-up shots on Denny, Eve and their daughter, Zoë, whenever they were eating dinner, playing in the yard or having important conversations in the kitchen. Along with the interesting shots that were taken from the angle, producers also managed to incorporate a coloring scheme that informed the audience on the mood of a scene or to represent the progression in emotion. There was one moment when the shots were montaged together, showing a passing in time. As the montage went on for longer, shots got darker, with cloudy skies or dim house lighting to convey something monumental was about to occur in the plot. 

Another thing I applaud the screenwriters for is managing to not stray far from the original meaning behind a story like this, and managing to keep an audience engaged without too many negative emotions involved. I mean come on, it’s a movie where the main character is a dog, and you go in expecting it to NOT make you cry? Ridiculous. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” had the perfect balance of emotion to keep things interesting without drowning the viewers in tears. I feel as if too much emotion would’ve caused the film to lose sight of the overall message that’s told at the end. There were several moments that kept me guessing and just the right amount of scenes to get my eyes watery. 

Now, I am not one to cry during movies, so it’s rare for me to write a review where I can say that I was genuinely emotional for at least half of this movie. It’s one of those classic story-lines that hit close to home and manage to top my list of “Top Five Saddest Things Ever Watched.” I’m glad I had my best friend by my side the entire time, because at least then I wouldn’t be an awkward bundle of blankets crying on my couch, alone in the middle of the night. I had someone to share my emotions with. If you are interested in seeing this movie, which you should be, because it’s a cinematic masterpiece, I suggest taking a loved one you (preferably a dog). That way, you can have a fluffy shoulder to cry on when things get crazy and a companion to hug once it ends. After all, you should cherish every bit of time you have, because you never know when the rain will wash them away.