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.
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.
It ... feels utterly neutered, a film with little on the line and a talented cast begging for a little wit and a few jokes. The characters are introduced awkwardly and a strange insertion of an animated dream sequence is entirely out of place.
Despite an intriguing premise, a marquee middle-aged cast and a veteran helmer (Lawrence Kasdan) schooled in character-driven ensemble movies, the result is more shaggy-dog story than incisive reflection on human relationships.