Wagging the dog tale

For those who are animal lovers, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is one movie that is truly meant for you. This is the type of movie that you hate to see end. It’s a delightful story told from the point of view of a golden retriever named Enzo, in reference to a renowned race car driver. It’s the perfect movie for all ages. 

“Racing” was adapted from a 2008 novel by American author and film producer Garth Stein (“Goodbye Christopher Robin”).  It was written by Mark Bomback and directed by Simon Curtis. 

The plot concerns Denny Swift, a race car driver who believes he’s one of the best at what he does. That includes racing, even in the rain. Milo Ventimiglia is perfectly suited for the role and Swift adopts Enzo as a puppy. From that point on, the two become inseparable.

 What really makes this story come to life is Kevin Costner as the voice of Enzo. It doesn’t take long for the audience to see how compatible Denny and Enzo are together in almost every scene. 

Even Enzo comments on how great their relationship is when he says, “I was meant to be his dog.” 

As one might expect, soon thereafter Denny meets Eve, a pretty blonde twenty-something played by Amanda Seyfried. Eve, who teaches English-as-a-second-language at a nearby school. It’s love at first sight and the duo become inseparable.  Even Enzo realizes it.  The mood and tone of Costner’s voice as Enzo speaking about the love-struck couple is heartfelt. In one scene, Enzo recognizes how Denny looks at Eve.  He says, “Denny never tires of pleasing Eve.” 

One can’t imagine anyone in the audience who owns a dog who didn’t wish for the kind of obedience and love Enzo has toward Denny.  Even when Eve and Denny marry, Enzo knows he has to behave. He adds, “I minded my manners.”  

The movie, though, doesn’t go so far as to suggest the dog is more important than Denny.  Enzo realizes that and admits, “I’m only a dumb dog,” which probably drew sympathy from everyone in the audience. 

As Denny becomes more involved in racing, the lovebirds have a baby girl named Zoe.  In one humorous scene, Enzo comments that, “I just hoped it would look like me.” 

Throughout the movie, Enzo stays engaged and comments on every single aspect of Denny’s life.  Baby Zoe becomes known to Enzo as “a creature,” but one that is “so beautiful.”

While the plot deepens, the faithful relationship between man and dog stays firm throughout the film, even though more complications arise between Denny and Eve’s parents.

This is one excellent film for the entire family.  Parents and grandparents will enjoy it and so will kids. Most of all, this is a “must see” movie for all animal lovers. 

The plot is excellent and the actors are perfect for their roles. That includes Enzo, the most perceptive pooch I’ve ever seen in any movie.