No doubt, a dog is truly a man’s best friend. It is this belief that drives the heartwarming film The Art of Racing in the Rain, based on Garth Stein’s beloved bestselling novel of the same title, produced by 20th Century Fox. Directed by Simon Curtis, the film stars Milo Ventimiglia, Amanda Seyfried and the voice of Kevin Costner as Enzo, the philosophical dog, who narrates the tale.
The film follows the journey of Denny (Milo Ventimiglia), a man with big dreams of becoming a Formula One race car driver. Those dreams are momentarily placed on hold when he meets Eve (Amanda Seyfried), the love of his life. Inevitable challenges then occur in the marriage – as there are for any family. Denny’s demanding career sees him being away from home, forcing him to carefully balance his job and home life. But these problems soon prove small in comparison to the big challenges that lie ahead. Complaining of headaches, Eve starts to feel unwell and it’s revealed that she has a life-threatening disease. Things become more difficult as Eve’s parents (Martin Donovan and Kathy Baker) do not see eye to eye with their son-in-law.
Throughout this engrossing drama, everything is seen from the vantage point of Enzo, a dog with a unique view of life. Wonderfully witty, philosophical and funny, Enzo, voiced by Kevin Costner, has remarkable insights into human nature, where he realizes that the techniques needed on the racetrack can also be used to successfully navigate the journey of life. In turn poignant, humorous and inspiring, the films sweeps us up in the lives of this endearing family – but, unusually, it is Enzo, who relates the story.
“I was excited that this great story was being turned into a feature film,” shares Ventimiglia, who has numerous acting, producing and directing credits under his belt. “It’s an emotional and uplifting film that shows life through the wise and humorous perspective of Enzo, the dog.”
Ventimiglia also appreciates how the film is for families and that Denny is a family man. “It appeals to an audience that wants to experience emotion. It’s also very relatable.”
For her part, Seyfried, who plays opposite Ventimiglia and who has her fair share of acting credits, says that the film brought with it a variety of challenges, but the beauty of the story ultimately won her over.
“I read the book as soon as it came out and I was completely blown away,” Seyfried says. “I was so excited that they were making this film as I’m obsessed with dogs and it is a beautiful story about family—and a dog and love and connection.”
As a mother, Seyfried also finds the story relevant. “I have a kid now myself, so the stories that I’m attracted to are a little bit different from the ones that used to appeal. I want to make movies about families and love and trust, films about the beauty of life.”
“I loved how this family is being observed by this dog”, Director Simon Curtis reveals. ”It’s one of my favorite moments in the film where the dog is integrated and Enzo feels like the daughter’s big brother. I find that very, very moving.”
The Art of Racing in the Rain hits Philippine theaters on August 7, Wednesday. Join the conversations online at #ArtOfRacing.