The Art of Racing In The Rain (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

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The Art of Racing In The Rain, gives us a more mature version of the dog movies which often are more so geared to kids and being cutesy.


Director(s) Simon Curtis
Screenplay By Mark Bomback
Date Released 8/9/2019
Genre(s) Drama, Romance, Comedy
Good If You Like
  • Movies Featuring Dogs
  • Crying
  • Dry Humor
  • The Dog Equally Focused On As The Humans
Noted Cast
Enzo Kevin Costner
Denny Milo Ventimiglia
Eve Amanda Seyfried
Maxwell Martin Donovan
Zoe Ryan Kiera Armstrong
Teen Zoe Lily Dodsworth-Evans

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The Art of Racing In The Rain Plot Summary & Review

For a little more than 10 years, we watch as a dog named Enzo experiences the highs and lows of his owner Denny as he wins races, meets the woman of his dreams in Eve, and then experiences one tragedy after another. All the while, Enzo wishes he could do more and yet, sometimes, just being there, pushing Danny to leave the house, not quit, and honor his promises, is all Denny could ask. And as for What Enzo ultimately gets out of it? Well, more than a friend, but someone who teaches him how to be in his next life.

Highlights

The More Mature Tone

Most movies featuring dogs seem geared for children, and while they have moments which could get you teary-eyed, generally, there is more than enough comedic moments to make up for the dog dying, among other situations. However, with The Art of Racing In The Rain, Kevin Costner’s voiceover takes things down a notch. Unlike what we saw in A Dog’s Way Home or the A Dog’s Purpose franchise, Costner’s Enzo isn’t a silly, chasing its tail, or adorable pet. Enzo was basically born an old dog and while he likes to play catch and run with Denny, what he really wants to do is watch races, documentaries, and over his humans. Really pushing that idea he, Enzo, mentions at the beginning of the movie that when a dog dies, and is ready to reach its next stage, it’ll come back as a human.

Works As Both A Movie About A Dog & A Racer Fighting For His Dreams

One could say Enzo is a bit of a Trojan Horse for a basic, perhaps run of the mill drama, about a racer meeting a young woman, starting a family, and dealing with life as it comes. However, I wouldn’t say you are conned into a movie you didn’t expect. Both Enzo’s journey to feeling more human, and exhibiting it the best he can, as well as Denny finding love, experiencing loss, and fighting for all he gained while with Eve, complement one another. Heck, maybe couldn’t survive on their own. Yet, together, what could have been a cute, but odd, dog movie combines wonderfully with a romantic drama that could bring you into a lull just as much as it could enrage you.

It Will Get You In Your Feelings

How? Well, alongside the usual drama you expect which all dog movies have, love gained and loss of life, there is also the response to that loss. Not just the tears of the actors and a Sia song which will force you to see if you have been drinking enough water, but also Maxwell’s response. One that seems like a gut punch that will take you from crying from wanting someone to hit Maxwell with a car or for Enzo to take a chunk out of him. For what he does, I swear to you may not fill you with the kind of rage which settles in your shoulders but will make you want to call Maxwell names that would never be acceptable in a PG movie.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Add this to your collection of movies to watch if you need a good cry or want to see yet another brilliant dog movie. One which reminds you why they have earned the title of being man’s best friend. Not to forget, decides to take things in a more mature direction by having a more somber tone, a dog which is less geared for children, yet still remains comical. Just, this time, with humor that is dry and sarcastic.

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Ending Explained & Commentary (with Spoilers)

Ending Explained

Enzo was there through it all. He was there when Denny’s career was on an upswing, and he was winning race after race. He was also there when Denny met Eve, got married to her, and while Denny was working, Enzo watched, to a certain degree, Denny’s daughter Zoe be born. Unfortunately, Enzo was also there when Eve died of brain cancer and bore witness to Maxwell, who always thought Denny wasn’t good enough for his daughter, threatened to get custody of Zoe. For one, to punish Denny for thinking if he were around more, he would have noticed Eve getting sick. Then, after a subtle push, reminding him he was a weak old man, trying to use his money, and that incident, to say he may have lost his daughter, no longer be physically formidable, but he can still break Denny.

Yet, he doesn’t. No matter how bad things get financially, or a short term victory which keeps Denny from Zoe for 90 days, he doesn’t truly break Denny. Well, for a moment he did, but Enzo reminded Denny of the promise he made to Eve to never quit. Which, at the time, before her death, was about racing, but became a life motto.

And when Enzo died, he died just as Denny got full custody back of Zoe and was allowed to leave the country to work for Ferrari in Italy. A country where, while working on the track, as a Formula 1 driver, he comes across a fan, a little boy, and his name happens to be Enzo. Not to imply, similar to A Dog’s Journey, no matter the reincarnation, Enzo remembers, but it seems just enough stayed for him to remain in awe of Denny and even if Enzo, the dog, never talked, the connection remains. Leaving you, once more, in tears.

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