The movie takes a simple if shattering occurrence and uses it as a way to bring a family together, an old trick but one well played by director Lawrence Kasdan and his wife and screenwriting partner Meg.
You don't have to be a dog lover to like "Darling Companion". But it probably would be an asset in understanding why otherwise sensible adults would go to extreme lengths, even endangering their lives, to find their runaway pooch.
...I found the movie disarming and quite likable. The cast couldn't be better, and the settings (Utah, substituting for Colorado, although there are some readily identifiable shots taken in Telluride) are beautiful.
Darling Companion is a "Pretty White People with Problems" movie, but like the dog at its center, it cozies its way into your lap and stares at you adoringly until you resist its flaws and find yourself won over.
With its strong cast, gorgeous Utah mountain locations, brilliant fall colors and laudable story in praise of love, animals, family loyalty, friendship and dignified aging, Darling Companion should attract some traffic.
No doubt this yarn enthralled Larry and Meg Kasdan's dinner guests, but onscreen the crisis seems dull and inconsequential, in part because the quest for the dog is essentially a MacGuffin that drives the blah 'real' story about marital reconciliation.