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All Critics (89)
| Top Critics (34)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (70)
Between the gypsy psychic and the distracting characters, "Darling Companion" loses its way.
[It] has a fine cast, but doesn't seem to have much to say other than lamenting the unfairness of getting old.
It's far from a great movie - an overwritten, underplotted vanity project that's a distant echo of what director Lawrence Kasdan could do in his prime. But it has Diane Keaton, and that's enough.
It's fun to watch Keaton and Kline together, bickering and (of course) bonding all over again.
If good intentions were everything, this benevolent film would be Best in Show. Alas, it's flawed by a drowsy pace (there is far too much hiking) and superfluous, ill-conceived characters.
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.
This film is intelligent and beautifully acted. It's a movie about a group of people searching for a lost dog for days, and I never once looked at my watch.
There's only so many shots of beautiful vistas and charming doggies before viewers start wishing for a new cinematic companion, like maybe a nice Travel Channel documentary or the Westminster dog show.
The kind of forced, deceptive, quasi-quirky heart-warmer that brings older people (and rabid dog lovers) to the art house, Darling Companion ultimately isn't about finding the dog. It's about these shrill, boring-ass people finding each other.
The amount of talent wasted in this shallow, predictable tale is very impressive.
Absolutely no blame for this snooze-fest can be laid at the feet of the stars, who do the best they can with the rough material they have been given.
Possibly the least consequential movie ever made.
Boring load of. Rented this as I had my mother over and thought Diane Keaton and a cute dog might be the thing.
Forget it. The dog is barely in it before it goes missing and the rest of the movie is about trying to find the dog and the "hilarity" that happens along the way.
Not interesting viewing at all. Even my mother thought it was dumb, and she's enjoyed some howlers.
I expected more from the pairing of Keaton, and Kline. Too bad...
Directed (and co-written) by Lawrence Kasdan, Werc Werk Works, 2012
Starring Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard and Ayelet Zurer.
Question: How many of you consider your pets as family members and not just animals? I do, big-time. In fact, I talk to my dogs as if they can understand me. I worry about them like they are my children. And I take care of them (and spoil them) because it makes me happy that they are happy. It's a wonderful relationship that doesn't take much effort. It's unconditional love.
So when I saw a preview for a film about a woman who finds a dog and he becomes her constant companion I knew I had to see it: Darling Companion.
There was another reason I went to see this film, it was a Lawrence Kasdan film. Remember Body Heat, The Big Chill, and The Accidental Tourist? Well, he wrote and directed those films. He also wrote the screenplays (or co-wrote) for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are more films he either wrote or directed but there are too many to list now; however, his credentials are pretty solid, you have to admit.
I did look up DarlingCompanion right before the showing on my IMDb phone App and saw some not so friendly things said about it but I always, or I try to, ignore a lot of the naysayers. As I said it was a Lawrence Kasdan film but also Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton and Dianne Wiest starred in the film. All of them have done some great work in the past with or without the writer/director. Then I read the brief summary of the plot and actually considered not going because it ended up being about a husband who loses his wife's dog and there is a search for him. I am weeping mess when it comes to anything sad about animals getting hurt or lost - complete MESS - but usually there is a happy enough ending to help me get over any sad emotions so I bought the movie ticket.
So with all that did I like the film? Sadly, I did not. The overall story was about a couple, their marriage and some major problems they have between them. The details will remain secret as to why because if you have been in a long term relationship there are usually only a few things that make a marriage go sour; and if you still decide to see the film I will let you discover it yourself. However, it was sort of a no-brainer to figure out their problem within the first few minutes of the film, but the part I was confused about was the lack of any resolution between the husband and wife, played by Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton. Plus, the subplot of the missing pooch got muddied within the storytelling or it tried too hard to be a metaphor for the loss of a connection between humans especially when someone isn't paying attention.
Although the very last frames of the film made me smile, immensely, I left the film with a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps it was because I wanted the wife to say something more to her husband especially when he realized that part of the problem, if not all, was his fault. The hubris of some men and their egos never ceases to amaze me and even if they admit their fault they still have way a blaming their behavior on others. This is why the wife had and loved the dog, Freeway, so much. He gave her unconditional love without blaming her or makes her feel bad for being who she was. The dog just wants to be by her side and it makes them both happy. Unconditional love.
Now I am not sure why the writers/director told a story that really didn't have much of a resolution when I think the entire bulk of the film was exposing the problem of this relationship between the husband and the wife. Losing the dog and then searching for Freeway allowed for many conversations between the adults. And just like many of Kasdan's films, it is an ensemble piece with an array relationship issues that I think many can relate to. There was also some humor in Darling Companion but most of it fell short of being really funny, at least for me.
Kasdan likes to go for a certain type of realism in his films, it's not always the pretty side of life and relationships and he did that again here. However, the story wasn't cohesive or intriguing enough to keep my interest. Oh well.
My favorite thing: The montage with the dog and the wife. Could totally to relate to that and smiled the whole way through that part.
My least favorite thing: Perhaps how certain relationships were portrayed in the film.
Length: 103 minutes
Review: 3 out of 10
"Darling Companion" is shockingly bad. Filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan ("Body Heat," "The Big Chill") seems to have made this in order to secure a TV project. It looks like he was trying to prove to certain corporate executives that he can do TV.
That is depressing enough, that a film would serve as a try-out for television. But "DC" doesn't even work as a TV pilot. I'm sorry to say this, but I wouldn't trust Kasdan with either TV or film right now. His instincts as a director seem to be shot.
It pains me to say that about any creative person. But it stings especially with Kasdan because his "Body Heat" and "Accidental Tourist" are two of my all-time fave films. I can still remember seeing those films for the first time -- where I was, whom I was with. They made such an impression on me. But we all know that artists sometimes lose their creativity over time. Alas.
In "DC," Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline play an upper-middle-class couple going through a sort of empty-next syndrome now that their children are grown up and have moved away. The wife, a well-meaning airhead, rescues a stray dog on the freeway one day (in one of many preposterously fake sequences) and decides to keep the animal.
A year or so later, the dog runs off in the woods and cannot be found. For the next 90 minutes, we watch this couple, joined by a few other family members, search their ritzy, hippie-dippie Colorado ski resort for the dog. The film nauseatingly tries to mimic a Nancy Meyers' movie ("Something's Gotta Give," "It's Complicated"). In between terribly empty and repetitious scenes, schmaltzy music swells loudly. I've almost never seen a film try so hard to be cute and fail so miserably.
There is a good chance "Darling Companion" will top my Worst of 2012 list.
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