Darling Companion (2012) Poster

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9/10
Great Matinée Movie
bonsallfrank7 May 2012
I don't understand all the hate on most of the reviews I've read. There are no special effects, but there are some heavy hitter stars in this movie, and a pleasing storyline. Of course we all know how it's going to end. But the movie, especially for us Boomers, touches on a lot of subjects that we can relate to when it comes to the aging process. And how society can be in a hurry to move us along. Make room for the younger up and coming. The area where this was filmed, Utah and Telluride, are very familiar to me, and a joy to see. This isn't heavy drama, there is no nudity, the plot is not too involved. It's a great movie to take your 80 year old mother-in-law to on a Saturday afternoon. That's what we did, and she loved it. So take Grandma to the movies this week. You'll enjoy the movie, and Grandma will appreciate you taking the time to do it. See you at the movies. :)
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7/10
Finding a heart-warming relationship dramedy after losing the dull romantic comedy
napierslogs8 July 2012
I know what you're thinking, do we really need another must-love-dogs romantic comedy? Thankfully, contrary to marketing attempts, "Darling Companion" is not a romantic comedy. It's more like an outdoor adventure, relationship dramedy, mystery. Unfortunately, it did start as if it was a romantic comedy. Mother and daughter were annoyingly commiserating on the problems of finding a good man. Then they found a dog and met a cute doctor.

I was squirming in my seat faster than they could say "I do." But then something funny happened on the way to the wedding. The boring romantic comedy angle was already wrapped up and they dropped the beleaguered jokes comparing man to dog. And then the film became a fairly simple but enjoyable treatise on the relationships and world views of a handful of family members and close friends.

To me, the movie starts when Beth (Diane Keaton)'s dog goes missing. Her husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline), lost it, but he doesn't care. He only likes his money and telling people that he's a doctor. But his practice is just going to have to wait because she's not going home until they find Freeway (the beautiful Collie-mix Kasey). She is helped by Carmen, an exotic sex-goddess who freely admits that she's a psychic gypsy blessed with receiving images of the lost dog. Nephew Brian (Mark Duplass) likes Carmen; he does not like his future step-father Russell (Richard Jenkins). Russell pretty much likes everyone and everything. Joseph doesn't like the dog and he especially doesn't like alleged gypsy psychics leading his family on wild goose chases.

The older members of the audience were laughing first, but eventually a little bit of humour in the form of funny lines came through. Kevin Kline was hilarious as the irritable elitist insulting hippie ideals and alleged gypsy psychics. The dialogue was quick, astute and savvy in navigating all the characters towards happiness in their relationships.

If you can equate the search for the missing dog as a mystery, then it would be worth comparing this film to Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (1993). A delightful discussion on relationships set to a mystery plot. It doesn't hurt that the cast includes a couple of Allen regulars (Keaton and Dianne Wiest).

It takes awhile to realize that this is not a dull romantic comedy, but if you're looking for a mature, heart-warming relationship dramedy, "Darling Companion" eventually finds its way.
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7/10
It features Diane Keaton and a lovable dog-how can it go wrong?
FilmRap16 March 2012
This is a wonderful "feel good" movie that everyone can enjoy. It will be especially meaningful to anyone who has been part of a family when the last child is married off and the parents deal with their adult relationship with each other and other members of their families. It was directed and produced by Lawrence Kasden ( Big Chill, Grand Canyon and many more big time hits ) who also wrote the script along with his wife Meg Kasden . They put together an honest story that showed love, romance and every day comedy in way that most people should be able to relate to and immensely enjoy. They assembled a cast of actors who were able to embody the characters they created in a skillful and very authentic manner. Beth (Diane Keaton) and Joseph (Kevin Kline) are the newly "empty nested" parents as their daughter Grace (Elizabeth Moss of "Mad Men" fame) ,the youngest of their children, finally finds Mr. Right and gets married. Jospeh is a spine surgeon whom Beth acknowledges may have always been a little full of himself but is shown to ultimately be a good guy. Penny is Jospeh's divorced sister (Diane Wiest) who has found her new love Russell (Richard Jenkins) who is a bumbling guy who wants to marry Penny and open an English pub in Iowa. Bryan ( Mark Duplass) is Penny's son who is also a spine doctor and has a touching flirtation with gypsy like housekeeper (Ayelet Zurer) of the family's vacation house in the beautiful Colorado mountains ( which was filmed in the beautiful Utah mountains) . Sam Sheppard is Sheriff Morris who adds further warmth to the already tender story. What we haven't told you yet is that the story is tied together by a lovable dog – that almost magically appears and then disappears ! The movie is the story about the search for the dog which occurs while the characters are finding themselves and their own bearings. The story is just right at 103 minutes . The acting is perfect-Diane Keaton is at her mature best, the country type music hits the spot and the film features a a dog! How can it go wrong?
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6/10
A Missing Dog Brings Everyone Together
Chris_Pandolfi20 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Watching "Darling Companion," I could tell that director/co-writer Lawrence Kasdan knew what he was after but had some trouble finding it. Strangely enough, this is surprisingly reminiscent of the film itself, which tells the story of a group of people having a great deal of trouble finding a lost dog. All the characters know that they want to find him, but actually reaching this goal will prove to be a tremendous physical and emotional challenge. It's a well-intentioned movie, utilizing a reliable relationship plot and terrific actors that give decent performances, although I felt something overall was missing; it lacks the necessary style capable of elevating its merely entertaining and heartwarming premise into something more meaningful. Before the story proper begins, we're introduced to several characters. At the top of the list is Beth and Joseph Winter, who have been married for many years and live comfortably in the suburbs of Denver. Beth (Diane Keaton) is an empty-nester, with one daughter already a mother and the other a college student. The latter, named Grace (Elisabeth Moss), is visiting during a term break. Joseph (Kevil Kline) is a successful spine surgeon. He's so successful, in fact, that he will spend a great deal of time on his cell phone – more time than is necessary, according to Beth. Despite many years of marriage, it's obvious that the spark is no longer there. Beth thinks Joseph is distant and a workaholic whereas Joseph thinks Beth is overly emotional, especially since their children moved away from home. The catalyst of the plot is a dog Beth and Grace find abandoned on a highway. Covered with dirt somewhat bloodied, they take him to a handsome young vet named Sam (Jay Ali), who immediately catches Grace's attention. The dog is treated, and Beth takes him home. Although she and Grace give him a bath, she makes it clear to Joseph that she has no intention of keeping the dog. But you know how it goes in situations like this; one year later, he has been named Freeway and has become a part of the family. So too has Sam, who marries Grace at the family cabin in the Rockies. At this point, we meet Joseph's sister, Penny (Dianne Wiest), and her new boyfriend, Russell (Richard Jenkins), who has a seemingly harebrained idea to invest their money into a Midwest English pub. This does not please Penny's son, Bryan (Mark Duplass), who works with his uncle Joseph as a surgeon. The plan is to stay for the weekend at the cabin. One morning, as Joseph takes Freeway for a walk, the former becomes distracted by a cell phone call while the latter becomes distracted by a scurrying deer. Freeway runs off and goes missing. While Joseph seems rather nonchalant about it, Beth goes into panic mode and launches a full-scale search-and-rescue effort, recruiting Joseph, Penny, and Bryan into the cause. Tagging along is the cabin's caretaker, a gypsy woman named Carmen (Ayelet Zurer), who recently lost a dog herself and claims to possess psychic abilities. Her repeated visions, vague and arbitrary though they may be, act as a guide for the group as they split up into teams and search the woods for Freeway. To deal with this right away, the subplot with Carmen does not work at all. Regardless of whether she's a crackpot or genuinely blessed with a third eye, this is a relationship comedy/drama – which is to say, this not the kind of story that supports the inclusion of a character like this. It was a strained, random, and unnecessary move on the part of the filmmakers. Straining it even further is the fact that Carmen rather quickly becomes Bryan's love interest. Their attraction to each other stems from nothing made apparent to the audience, apart from the convenience of two single characters being in the same space at the same time. As fashionable as it is to adhere to the rule that opposites attract, the simple fact is that they don't seem all that compatible. Carmen aside, it's obvious what Kasdan and his wife/co-writer Meg are trying to do here. "Darling Companion" isn't really about the search for a dog; it's about relationships in general and the processes of discover and rediscovery. Through this experience, Beth and Joseph once again learn to communicate, and Bryan learns to see Russell as something other than a lofty dreamer and a leech on his mother. Everyone's heart is in the right place. Of that much, I'm certain. Having said that, the film is at times rather confused about its tone, shifting wildly from mild humor to serious drama to broad physical gags and caricature profiles. Perhaps the film's deficits will be overshadowed by the audience's desire for Freeway to be found. Of that, you won't get a word out of me.
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10/10
What a great cast for an excellent movie
michaelzstuff5 May 2012
With a cast like this, how can you go wrong??? Getting involved with all of these relationships was enough to make me like this film but with Keaton and Kline doing what they do best, this was an enjoyable and delightful experience. With four Academy Award winners taking on the leads, not only do you get a great performance, but who doesn't like cute little dog that sends all of the characters out on a hunt to find the lost pet. Okay, it doesn't have any gun shots, muggings or superpowers flying though the air, but it sill have me entertained for an hour and a half. We all get a chance to see horror films, thriller stories and action movies, but you don't get a chance to see a film like this very often. A must-see for anyone who has a heart.
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5/10
The Dog Story
kosmasp22 February 2014
You have to have a heart for animals to be able to watch this and really enjoy it. There is some eye candy for male viewers (though her story line tries to go beyond that and the actress carries that weight effortlessly), but it's Diane Keaton, the Dog and Kevin Kline (in that order), that really hold the movie together.

Substories and romantic interludes, marriage problems, but also the absurd (superstituous) are being handled decently. It still might feel a bit too much for some viewers though. Kline just about holds his own in a very slim outlined character outlet, that he has to work with. Clichés abound and an ending that is so over the top (literally), that you'll probably cry (for better or worse).
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10/10
Fabulous, Loving and Wonderful Movie
Rosedame16 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what a sleeper of a fantastic movie.. heartwarming, real, touching, true to life... and it gives meaning to loving animals as much if not more than people....who give us unconditional love, respect, and devotion... unlike our own humans.... but not withstanding, we still need the companionship of our own kind... but it as you will find out, is a much better world with our loving animals to keep us sane, grounded, and happy, It brings out all the emotions we humans have, for better or worse, but real...this wonderful movie makes you feel good about life.. something we all need right now............

Go to see this movie now... don't wait.. run don't walk.. and see it over and over and over again....oh, bring a few tissues...
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This dog can't be saved.
jdesando8 May 2012
"Lassie, don't come home."

Will movies never cease to amaze me? How could the creativity behind the pleasing ensemble film Grand Canyon, Lawrence Kasdan and his wife, Meg, be responsible for the insipid drama, Darling Companion?

A lost dog? The hunt curing and binding the principle couples? Please!! Only surgeons, veterinarians, and their wives could have the time and resources to stay at a Colorado lodge to look for a lost dog. Of course, the dog is just the metaphor for the lost romance, to be found, of the couples, mostly Beth (Diane Keaton) and Joseph (Kevin Kline).

It's difficult to describe how banal their interaction is, especially since Keaton overacts, flailing her arms at emotional moments, and Kline appears to wish he hadn't made this movie with his lines appropriate for a high school world premier.

But then, Sam Shepherd, the world-class playwright, has to endure his thankless role as the curmudgeonly sheriff, and Diane Weist can only showcase her world-class cheekbones. Richard Jenkins as her silly love interest, well, he's had a whole lot better than his comic-relief buffoon.

But then the writing Kasdans didn't have to worry about crafting each line since it seems every other line is a scream calling for lost dog, Freeway. When the most conflict you'll get is Joseph's enslavement to his cell, you have an idea that there are no new ideas. I suggest the real conflict is Beth's over dramatizing, which Joseph calls her on.

Once again a film relies on the faded glory of its Hollywood royalty to tell a silly tale about older folk. I'm thinking I might enjoy the second edition of The Expendables, whose 65-year-old Sylvester Stallone is a has been, knows it, and makes no pretense about making a warm and fuzzy film.
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6/10
A Quiet Film with a Good Family Element
lojitsu2 September 2012
Here's The Lowedown on "Darling Companion" (A Drama DVD review)...Liked It!

Become a fan of The Lowedown on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Lowedown/386583633764

Genre: 6 Movie: 6

What's it about?

Beth (Diane Keaton) saves a bedraggled lost dog from the side of the freeway on a wintry day in Denver. Struggling with her distracted, self-involved husband Joseph (Kevin Kline) and an empty nest at home, Beth forms a special bond with the rescued animal.

What did I think?

Not the fastest moving film ever made, but it was a nice touching story. It seems to be all about this stray dog, when in fact it was about a family healing itself through an outside source. This movie is worth the rental, if you are in the mood for a quiet film with a good family element.
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8/10
Rather Darling ***
edwagreen30 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The Kasdan's always seem to write about family relationships and this film is certainly no exception.

Diane Keaton pulls out all the stops as the wife of spinal surgeon, Kevin Kline, mature and excellent in the part. She finds a dog on a highway with her daughter, the latter quickly marries the vet they bring the dog to.

The film is about human relations among the family. Dianne Wiest is also very good as Kline's sister, with her new boyfriend and son, also a doctor, all attending the daughter's wedding.

The film then becomes one of searching for the dog who goes lost. Everyone seems to reveal their inner selves and it becomes a fascinating character study.
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1/10
Not a dog lovers movie, "Menopause Melodrama" should be the title
rubitony200231 August 2012
I am a dog lover and never miss the chance to watch a good dog movie. I rented this movie thinking my 10 year old daughter and I would sit down and have an enjoyable time together. About 20 minutes into the movie and both my daughter and I were doing something else. She was on the computer and I was reading a Harbor Freight tools flyer that came in. The movie starts slow, stays slow and finishes slow. There are too many characters involved and hard to keep up with who's doing what and why. I only finished the movie to see what the ending was like. I am a glutton for punishment. I should have watched the 10 O'clock news instead. Didn't get my $1.30 worth. (I rented it at Redbox) I was very disappointed with it.
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10/10
Heart Warming story!
cynthiahost25 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Finally a movie about the lives of older folks in which the young take second place. Remember Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr good Bar and Sleeper? Well now she's a lot more mature and wears glasses.Kevin Kline,remember him in Big chill?Now a lot more mature as well.Diane Wiest. She's changed too. Diane plays beth,who just bi her grown daughter and her grand son baby, at the airport, Elisabeth Moss ,plays Keaton's second daughter Grace,who drove her to the airport.Keaton character is worried that her second daughter has not found Mr right had gotten married.While Beth's husband ,played by Kevin Kline is so busy as a spine surgeon,she complaints that he has no time for he.Diane Wiest plays Penny her sister, who just got married to Russell ,played by Richard Jenkins,But her son ,who's a surgeon, played by once again ,Mark Doublass,Doublass? ,of the Other sisters sisters ,fame, is worried that her husband isn't working and she's still supporting him and Russel wants her to invest in a English pub ,in the mid west for him to open up.Well Diane ,as she's coming home from air port,I think, finds a injured sick dog,which she rehabilitates and names him Freeway.This dog, that now she take care of start to improved the families life.Grace meets veterinarian Sam,an India decent American,played by Jay Ali.They both fall in love with the aid of the dog.So as the whole family are at a cabin to celebrate the wedding,after the wedding Freeway gets lost and Beth can't leave until they can find the dog,Penny and her husbands maid Carmen ,a Gypsy,played Ayelet Zurer by uses what little psychic ability to help them find the dog.This is when the problem happen,in searching for the dog.Bryan and Carmen get to know each other better.Diane and Kevin get lost in the woods looking for the dog but they kindle their love for each. Lindsey Sloan plays one of the citizens who helps Kevin and Jenkins to find Freeway.Robert Bear plays Possum ,who a rude resident that chases both Jenkinds and Kevin out of his property. Very older Sam Shepherd,plays the kind fun loving Sheriff Morris,with kidney stone problem .A some time funny very sentimental movie.I saw this at Starz on demand.02/25/13
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Worth ten dollars...
Christine Merser18 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When you put Kevin Kline (why doesn't he get more roles? He's a lovely, subdued actor, and we certainly need more subdued actors), Dianne Wiest, Elisabeth Moss, Richard Jenkins, and Diane Keaton on the same set, you know the movie will have meat. It's not so much star-studded as talent- studded, which is much better if you like good film. By "good film" I mean a story that resonates with the viewer as real; a story filled with the tension that is our every day life, and best of all, a story that doesn't end with the hero saving the day and riding off into the sunset on a horse. The ending of this movie says, "There are good days and bad days and days you like your family and days you do not." The movie I'm talking about is called Darling Companion.

The story centers around a rescued dog. The dog goes missing and everyone gets off the personal roller-coaster of their lives to try to find him. And that's when the lessons begin.

The dog in this movie makes you want to rush out to adopt all homeless dogs. I don't know where they got him, but he is filmed from all the right angles. He isn't shot in close-ups like Lassie, but shown as part of a family's world in the way that dogs often come to be—the glue that holds everything together. I love the dog, whose real name is not in this review because after searching the Net for quite some time, I just couldn't find it. It should be in the cast list, but it's not. I'm just saying.

The film is written by Lawrence Kasdan, whom we all remember from The Bill Chill. So apparently, in real life, Kasdan and his family adopted a dog and then lost him in the Rockies, where they extended their vacation three weeks until they found him. Darling Companion is based on that experience. It's like his famous Big Chill in that the plot is less important than the relationships between the characters. I like that about his films, and Darling Companion has that same rewarding interaction among its characters, which brings it all together. The husband and wife. The mother and daughter. The sister and brother. The mother and son. Is Kasdan the only writer/director who does that? Is he the only one who gives us one-on-one interactions in the context of a plot that really isn't all that important? Was there any resolution to the question of why Alex killed himself in The Big Chill? Where was the dog all those days he was missing in Darling Companion, and did anyone care?

Sidebar. Can I mention here that the best part of The Big Chill was the music? We can all agree on that right?

So here is a list of what you can take away from this movie: Dealing with a difficult mom; loving and hating your significant other at the same time; not caring what others think of you and being you anyway; making choices based on what feels good rather than what looks good; turning a car around, even on the highway, if you think you see something you should not turn away from.

That's worth ten dollars right?
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5/10
The Partridge & The Plough.
morrison-dylan-fan5 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Talking to a family friend recently,I discovered that he had picked up a number of titles which he believed I would enjoy viewing.Taking a look at the titles,I felt that it was the perfect time to meet a darling companion.

The plot:

Driving back home with her daughter from the airport,Beth notices a dog by the freeway.Getting out of the car with her daughter Grace,Beth finds no sign of any owners for the dog.Contacting a vet and the police,Beth & Grace find out that due to the dogs age,it will have to be put down,unless they decide to adopt it. Adopting the dog (who they name Freeway) Grace finds herself agreeing to go on a date with the vet.

Years later:

Getting married to the vet,Grace waves goodbye to Beth and her husband Joseph,and sets off on her honeymoon,with the last thing that Grace does being to promise Freeway that she will be back soon.After seeing their daughter get married at the location,Beth and Joseph decide to spend some time round the Rockies before they head home.Taking Freeway for a walk,Joseph suddenly receives an important business call.After taking the call,Joseph is horrified to discover that Freeway has run off.Giving Beth the bad news,Joseph and Beth start to search for Freeway,in the hope of finding the dog before Grace returns from her honeymoon.

View on the film:

Whilst the film got battered at the box office, (where it made $700,000,on a budget of 12 million!) the screenplay (partly inspired by the writers losing their own dog) by co-writer/ (along with his wife Meg) director Lawrence Kasdan has a warm folk charm,with Beth and Joseph (played by a joyful Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline)search for Freeway having a really dry sense of humour. Emphasising the movies folk notes,Kasdan smartly keeps the title largely outdoors,which allows for the film to soak up the lush Rockies location,as Beth and Joseph search along the freeway.
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5/10
of mild interest
SnoopyStyle6 September 2014
Beth Winter (Diane Keaton) rescues a lost dog from the side of a road. Her husband Joseph (Kevin Kline) is a self-important surgeon. Beth brings the dog Freeway home and her daughter Grace (Elisabeth Moss) falls for the vet. At Grace's wedding in the mountains, their nephew Bryan (Mark Duplass) develops a crush on Carmen (Ayelet Zurer) who runs the place. Joseph's sister Penny (Dianne Wiest) has a new boyfriend Russell (Richard Jenkins) who is using her money to start a pub. Joseph carelessly loses the dog in the woods. It sets off a big search for Freeway.

I'm not sure if the stakes are high enough here. It's a bunch of family members with minor issues looking for a dog. It's not like the audience grows to love the dog. It's more of an excuse for each family member to work out their issues. Lawrence Kasdan and his wife have created the lightest and mildest of family drama. The great cast of actor showed up to play but the writing is not up to the task.
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1/10
Not even good enough for an in flight movie
Ed4 October 2012
Slow story, whiny characters, irritating boomer reactions, weirdo gypsy, and rednecks. I started to read the in-flight magazine instead. The beginning is slow and when you hope for more momentum, it starts to get annoying with petty bickering over obvious topics. The attempt at humor showing displaced urban boomers as completely inept in the great outdoors is hard to watch.

It further deteriorated to the point where I found myself thinking what the !?! is this and unplugged the headphones. I enjoyed silence for the rest of the 3 hour flight. I wish that I had the Harbor Freight tool catalog that rubitony had. Menopause Melodrama gets my vote for title.

I will say that Freeway the dog did a great job. He was right on cue and did not overact.
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8/10
Fine movie, sadly disliked by many for good and bad reasons
Rodrigo Amaro26 October 2012
Of the few releases of the year, "Darling Companion" is perhaps the one that didn't deserve all the hatred is getting. However, let's face it that some of it is quite understandable. This marks the first film of Lawrence Kasdan since "The Dreamcatcher" (to some quite a stinker, I don't find it all that much, quite like it) and that makes 9 years; the first screenplay by Meg Kasdan since the glorious "Grand Canyon" back in 1991; then there's a great cast united here and they're at a strange level of their abilities and to most viewers the junction and the lack of more interesting script was the key factor for this being the movie the public weren't expecting.

Playing simple and with some predictability, "Darling Companion" is about a housewife (Diane Keaton) desperate in finding her beloved dog Freeway, lost by her husband (Kevin Kline), who doesn't seem to care much about the new member of the family and end up losing the poor animal while talking on the phone. In case you didn't got the name, the dog was found on a freeway almost freezing to death.

It all happened after their daughter's wedding with the veterinary who treated of Freeway a year ago. So, these people from the city are now stranded in the countryside looking for the dog with the help of another members of the family (Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins) and a sort of gypsy/psychic (Ayelet Zurer) who has blurred and foggy visions of Freeway and the place it might have been. The real purpose of the movie is not only finding who's lost but also finding what is lost and that is the human relations between the main couple, always on a verge of the crisis even with the picture of being the perfect family where the husband is too focused on his career as a doctor and the wife is too concerned of being away from her grown up daughters, and of not being loved enough by her man, and now where's the dog, of whom she loves with more enthusiasm than his real partner.

More like a couple's retreat kind of flick, this is a very warming project, very light and with some funny moments. It's far more interesting to see this project of life where all the confusion of a relationship is solved during a particular event than seeing some ridiculous romantic comedy that tends to present perfect lives all around. Despite the difference in the way it treats its issues, far from being those corny rom-coms "Darling Companion" isn't all that much of a mature screenplay though. I think it should have more focus on the couple's background rather than seeing Keaton crying for whatever reasons, focus on some of their pre-existent marital problems. It's just too level. And there's a beautiful yet pointless animated sequence involving the dog's point of view that really takes you out of the movie.

If the story sounds silly, just see it for the actors. Kline is good, Keaton has one of the most decent films of the past 10 years ("The Family Stone" was a disaster next to this and I bet the ratings might be even higher than this) but if this worths a real good view is because of Wiest and Jenkins playing an older couple that has many things to teach everyone around. They're so lovable and charming together, and he's hilarious in the movie. And there's an almost wasted appearance by Sam Shepard playing a sick sheriff. But once again, they're not at their greatest level of acting. That's what killed the enjoyment for viewers, they expected too much of a movie that was proposed to give so few.

The Kasdan couple worked better with the accidents of life in the outstanding "Grand Canyon". In that, miraculous events in the chaotic and stressful day-by-day routine saved people's lives and showed them new ways to connect with someone in the abyss that separates everything and everyone yet they're so close to each other. In "Longtime Companion" it was all about loving more your animal than the person whom you spend your life with, or care less about the faithful animal for reasons unknown, just thinking about himself. A sign of times represented in both films by the same creators. When did we become so egoistical and stopped looking at what's around us? When did our values become so shrunken? Maybe that's the reason people despised the new Kasdan. I liked but I wanted so much more...8/10
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7/10
Lovely point in a roundabout way
Dunham1622 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A gripping story driven largely by four fantastic performers - Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest and Richard Jenkins, it tends to wander but makes its point and keeps you fascinated even though the plot twists seem unnccessary to a story which pretends to be romantic comedy in the opening scene until it goes in a different but marvelous direction. Keaton plays the role Woody Allen used to play decades ago when Keaton was once his co-star in several movies he directed. The central theme - four people brought together in sometimes isolated wilderness settings for purpose "A", yet finding their own way through self realization plan "B" was more tightly and brilliantly done by Deborah Kerr and Richard Burton leading the brilliant cast of "Night of the Iguana". To the four leads are added two supposedly supporting players who probably have as many lines and as much screen time as do the leads- the housekeeper of the second mountain home owned by Keaton and Kline and the nephew of Kline. These two supporting characters end up on a romance of their own which seems not necessary to the story- one does some soul searching in the fashion of the four leads but finds out less and one does no soul searching at all while playing what is normally the deus es machina to send the four leads out into unknown backwoods country in which much of the realizations take place.
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2/10
We kept watching, hoping it would get better. It never did.
Karah Stokes31 December 2012
I AM a menopausal chick, and this flick does not cut it.

All this talent wasted on a completely predictable plot ["We're getting older!!!" Unhappily they're not doing that in an interesting way, either]. It was not even funny, ever, except for one line. We kept watching it, hoping it would get better. It never did. The Kevin Kline character was a believable a$$hole who we are then supposed to believe does a complete 180 because after twenty-five years his wife's nagging suddenly takes effect. Um, no.

I wished something interesting would happen: that the younger doctor would maybe refuse to return to the big city because he falls in love across class lines and is not as attached to his place of residence as his love object is attached to her small town, or that the Diane Keaton character, instead of her daughter, would run off with the young veterinarian -- stranger things have happened -- but no such luck.
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1/10
Insipid chick flick (for deranged chicks that is)
B Fitz22 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What mature, intelligent woman would take in a grimy stray dog then proceed to tear her family and town apart when it runs away (not to mention an airline)??? Worse, what man, in the responsible position of major surgeon, would cancel his surgeries (along with all the rest of the family member) to spend 24/7 chasing this dog all while woman one whines endlessly about why it was lost? What sane MAN would put up with and sympathize with such a screwed up woman???? ONLY in the imaginary world of chick flicks do such men exist and are such women tolerated, nay venerated!

I personally find macho guy flicks pretty boring equally improbable.....but at least I understand why they are made.

I have never seen a movie where I so completely disliked everyone one in it finding them all annoying and unreal.

I didn't even like the dog!

I saw the low reviews and saw the two Dianes and Kevin....they always make great movies...except this one.
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1/10
Do not waste your time
mspieway20 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Why did I expect any different from a movie with Diane Keaton? Another tale of whiny self-indulged people. Let's see: Mom shouts (AKA Teen Drama Queen) for Daughter to stop car on xway, finds dog, takes to vet...who is seemingly struck dumb by Daughter's (Ms Forehead) beauty. Dad insists NO DOG, yet next scene he is cheerfully walking it.

Fast forward to their Colorado home & Daughter's wedding to Vet...Dad walks dog, dog runs off, Mom starts airing dirty laundry about their marriage.

Dad even interrupts local sheriff on his day off, with the 'emergency' of lost dog. Throw in some sort of Gypsy seer, meaningless shots of scenery & various & actors/actresses....blah blah...

Could not take one more minute. Haven't the slightest curiosity in ending (predictable I am sure). Just another tale of out-of-touch 1%'ers and their tales of woe, not even well done. Not one bit of empathy with any characters, no depths exposed in any relationships, one total waste of time.

Oh, and for the dog lovers out there: If dog was paid by the minute, small check was cut.
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6/10
Not perfect but still worthwhile, especially for fans of the cast
Amy Adler28 May 2013
Beth (Diane Keaton) has always played second fiddle to her doctor-husband Joseph's (Kevin Kline) job as an orthopedic surgeon. As someone who was busy raising three daughters, this didn't matter so much. But, now the gals are grown and the tension between Beth and Joe is pretty palpable. As they reside in Denver, one snowy winter day, Beth spies a dog on the side of the road, a major highway. She insists that her daughter pull over so they can rescue him. After a trip to the vet, where Beth's daughter makes eyes with the veterinarian, Beth takes "Freeway" the canine home. To be sure, Joseph doesn't really want to keep the mutt but, for once, Beth insists. Over the next few months, Beth and Freeway form a strong attachment while Joe softens his stance a bit. Romance is in the air! Yes, soon the vet and the dog rescuer's girl are walking down the aisle, in a remote area of the state. After the ceremony, Beth, Joe and assorted relatives and friends stay on for a few days at the mountain resort. Alas, Joe takes a call on his cellphone as he is walking the dog and Freeway breaks free and gets lost. As a result, long standing grievances come out between Beth and Joseph, as Beth blames Joe for Freeway's missing status. So, will the lovable canine be found and will it be at the cost of the marriage? This worthwhile film is not without flaws but it is not a disaster by any means. For certain, the cast adds greatly to its entertainment value, as Keaton, Kline, Diane Wiest, Richard Jenkins, and the rest get as much out of their roles as possible. Kline, especially, has a truly unlikeable part, redeemed somewhat at the end, which takes courage to play. Then, too, the scenery is quite wonderful while the photography is equally fine. As for the script, it is definitely uneven and rather haphazardly put together, which makes director Kasdan work harder to polish up the results. Then, too, while the dog in the movie is darling, this is really not an animal flick but rather one about human relationships and their perils. Therefore, if you are attracted to the cast, director, or setting, take a chance on the flick and bring it home.
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6/10
Just right for some, but not a great film
vincentlynch-moonoi23 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to rate this film higher than most are. I think it's a pretty decent LITTLE film that appeals to a limited audience. Who's in that audience...well, frankly, us older folks. Oh, don't get me wrong. This is not a great film. But it's a decent LITTLE film about mature relationships and marriages and what makes them tick. And by the way, several sites list this as a comedy. It is a drama, not a comedy.

One of the highlights of the film is the scenery and photography. Autumn in southwestern Colorado! But, of course, we're not watching it for those reasons. That's just a bonus.

Girl meets dog. Boy loses dog. Marriage in a shambles. That's the crux of the story.

It's the performances that make the difference. And these are not great performances. But they're kinda real. I'm more sympathetic to the husband than most of our reviewers. He's a surgeon, and I'm getting ready to have surgery in about 10 days. I want my surgeon to be thinking exclusively of me that morning...not worrying about a lost dog. Now that's not to say that the doctor has been a great husband; clearly he takes his marriage for granted. Kevin Kline does fine here, although this is certainly not his best role..by far.

This is probably the most different role I've ever seen Diane Keaton in...as the wife of the surgeon...struggling in a somewhat lifeless marriage who rediscovers her love in a rather odd set of circumstances...partially lost in the rain in the woods and resetting her husband's dislocated shoulder.

Richard Jenkins is a much underrated actor, probably because he's far from handsome and thus, not the movie-star type. But he fairly consistently turns in fine performances, and while this is not a "great" role, he subtly fine tunes his performance.

The rest of the performances are fine, but not notable. Even Diane Weist, who is usually so good, just sort of gets by here in a part that relegates her to a comparatively minor role. The Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer has a somewhat interesting role as a modern-day gypsy.

You're not going to walk away from this film saying how great it was. But I think you may enjoy a quiet little movie with some realism in it.
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3/10
Waste of a good cast - an annoying story
phd_travel24 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts off promising with an A list cast and quite cute dialog. Diane Keaton and Elizabeth Moss play mother and daughter who rescue a dog off a freeway. This leads to romance and a wedding for with between daughter and the vet at the family Colorado country home. Kevin Kline plays Diane's doctor husband who loses the dog in the woods soon after and then the extended family including a sister played by Diane Wiest and her boyfriend and her son.

It all gets annoying when they spend days and get injured looking for the dog. Diane's character seems insanely attached to the dog for no real reason risking her and her husband's life and getting him injured.

Starts off with Woody Allen potential and ends in just a pile of doggie doo.

Don't waste your time. It deserved to flop.
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1/10
Embarrassment all around
zif ofoz8 June 2014
This movie is a study in awful! Just awful!

The story unfolds like you are pulling teeth! Diane Keaton is just plain weird here and Kevin Kline looks lost and confused throughout.

Story - Beth finds a dog along a snow covered freeway. Risk her life to get dog. Dog becomes pet. One year later daughter married veterinarian that doctored frozen dog. Dog runs away (that should have been a hint to viewers). All that happens in first 20 minutes of movie! Now you have 83 more minutes to watch a bunch of actors run around in woods looking for dog - it rains, it's cold, they are stupid.

If there is an example of 'actors doing it for the money' this is it! Good luck watching .... this movie is bad medicine.
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