Darling Companion


Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 1, 2012
    Some summer movies are big, woofing mastiffs. (Think "Battleship.") Others are naughty, nipping lapdogs. ("The Dictator.") Here, what we get is a calm, quiet basset hound. And, for the most part, it's a good dog.
  2. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 16, 2012
    This new movie is a trifle, a listless excursion into the luxurious problems of rich, white people.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 3, 2012
    Dogs and the women who love them form the warm and gooey center of Darling Companion, Lawrence Kasdan's fitfully amusing comedy-drama.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Apr 25, 2012
    The tone is mild, the setting is peaceful to the point of sleepiness, and the stakes are incredibly low, even with the heart-tugging central presence of an adorable animal in danger.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 20, 2012
    While it's not a disaster like Kasdan's last film, "Dreamcatcher'' (2003), Darling Companion doesn't amount to much more than a fairly painless way for the AARP set to spend an hour and a half watching a movie with stars their own age.
  6. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Apr 19, 2012
    If you found "Benji the Hunted" unbearably intense or "Marley & Me" a bit too hard-edged, then Darling Companion may be the dog movie for you. On the other hand, if you like to watch cute pooches doing cute stuff on screen, you may be a little disappointed.
  7. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Apr 19, 2012
    It has a gentle if unenlightening message, namely that we should all take time off to reconnect - the soundtrack tends to the Bonnie Raitt but the movie seems to subliminally hum "slow down, you move too fast" - and Keaton and Kline have decent chemistry.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Apr 19, 2012
    There's too much people and not enough dog in Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion, and even if you prefer people to dogs, that's a serious problem.
  9. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Apr 17, 2012
    The movie is not about the dog. It's about the people who find love, settle their differences, and get their priorities straight while searching for him. Still, when all is said and done, the dog is the only thing you care about in Darling Companion.
  10. 50
    If you can stay awake, you'll see a performance by ­Keaton that is radiant in its simplicity, all ditheriness shaken off. She's still ­peaking - ­someone give her a great role.
  11. 50
    While superbly acted, the dramedy plays out like a tepid "Big Chill" at best.
  12. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    Apr 15, 2012
    It meanders about as much as its eponymous pooch.
  13. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Apr 14, 2012
    Lawrence Kasdan's comedy strikes a note of rib-nudging blah coyness that feels very 1987.
  14. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 17, 2012
    The whole thing has the feel of a fact-based dinner-table anecdote absurdly puffed up to feature length.
  15. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Apr 19, 2012
    Like Freeway, the lovable stray dog at the center of this very teary comedy, Darling Companion has lost its way. Even the marquee ensemble anchored by Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Kevin Kline and Richard Jenkins is not enough to rescue this motley mutt of a movie.
  16. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Apr 19, 2012
    The doggie in Darling Companion is a big, warm bundle of puppy love; his owners are lost forever in a big chill.
  17. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Apr 17, 2012
    The handsome pooch is also the only appealing aspect of the latest tale of privileged boomer pulse-taking from Lawrence Kasdan.
  18. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Apr 17, 2012
    The story's treacly all-souls-in-alignment outcome is never in doubt, but as Kasdan dogs go, this is light-years better than Dreamcatcher.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Sep 13, 2012
    Excellent movie!! Watched it with my husband and really touched us! We also got 2 stray puppies which we rescued from the streets, and once,Excellent movie!! Watched it with my husband and really touched us! We also got 2 stray puppies which we rescued from the streets, and once, the small one got lost because of my husband and I told him "if the dog doesn't appear, since it is your fault him getting lost, you have to leave the house!" jajajaja Thanks God my baby appeared and its been almost 5 yrs from this ;) EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE!! Shows a lot of values, lost these days.... Full Review »
  2. Jun 11, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. At the end of Darling Companion, Beth is reunited with her dog, which would be a whole lot more touching had she not terminated her search for the mutt. For Beth, it's just gravy, getting Freeway back, since the film's title, as it turns out, alludes not to the dog she rescued alongside a busy interstate, but her husband, Joseph, who was more provider than partner, before the occasion of the animal's disappearance forces the busy professional to spend time with his neglected wife. While searching, the two can finally talk, hashing things out between the interruptions, which range from big horn sheep to the dislocated shoulder that Beth resets for her egotistical husband. Now that Beth has his attention again, Freeway is less in demand as a surrogate for the doctor's wife to pour her extraneous love on, evidenced by her boarding of the twin-engine plane after calling the search party off, leaving behind the dog to fend for himself in the Rockies. Earlier, when Joseph tells Beth that she has "no sense of proportion," her indignant wife replies, "Love is love. It doesn't matter if it's a dog," but apparently there is a difference, reminding the audience of her affluent lifestyle. Beth's capacity to love a mongrel, and not some purebred dog with a pedigree gave her depth, but when she abandons Freeway, her distinction of being a relatable person, compassionate and open-minded, which separated her from the others is gone, and we realize that this woman has the potential to be a snob, just like her husband, who disapproves of his sister's new beau, a working class stiff named Russell. Losing the dog turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Beth found her husband; she's no longer the lost person we meet at the outset. "Would you be leaving if I was missing?" asked the old Beth. This new Beth, loved again, by love that matters, now shares her husband's sense of proportion. She's a hypocrite, and this filmmaker, earlier in his career, would have called her out for it. This is not, however, Grand Canyon, the 1991 film in which a movie producer, Davis, vows not to make any more violent films after an attempt is made on his life. Once his gunshot wound heals, however, the L.A. phony goes back on the dogma he temporarily advocated. A century later, the filmmaker seems more leftist, saving Beth from Davis' fate as a satirical target, when by dumb luck, she spots Freeway from her airplane seat, and becomes an accidental hero by concocting a fake emergency to fool the pilots into landing. Despite a reunion straight out of Lassie Come Home, a violent animated sequence, in which Beth sees her domesticated pet engaged in the dog eat dog world of the wilderness, exposes a gap that the film doesn't quite cover up. Has Freeway turned feral? Unaware to the film, this nightmare could be a vision that Carmen, a self-described clairvoyant, passes along to Beth, suggesting in Freeway a temperament less on par with a collie than a bull terrier, the breed featured in Baxter, a 1989 French film, whose anthropomorphism is unusual for its anti-Disney idiosyncrasy of having an animal depict the baser side of man. Baxter kills, with premeditated cunning, to escape detection, first, pushing his owner down the stairs, a rebuke to the old lady's attempts to domesticate him. Later, he tries to stage an accident with a young couple's child. During the aforementioned animated sequence, Freeway is the hunted, but after a days-long stint in the woods, perhaps, he's the hunter, as well, a changed dog, belying the lack of physical wear-and-tear and noticeable trauma when Beth finds him. But things have changed since Freeway last saw her. How will the mutt react when he realizes that the doctor is Beth's real darling companion? Like Baxter, he's been replaced. In this case, by a big baby. The bull terrier's last owner, a Hitler-obsessed kid, comes to see the dog as a Jew, and kills him. Similarly, Beth, married to an alpha male, may see mongrels as inferior to pure breeds, now that she's regained her husband's respect. A commonality to both films, posits the owner, and not just the dog, as lost. Only Beth, however, is found. The rich always win. The film plays like the 1% version of Wendy and Lucy. Long before Lucy disappears from her post outside the grocery store, it's Wendy who gets lost, exemplified by a long-take in the opening minutes, where the young woman plays with her dog as they make their way through the woods. The Oregon wilderness seems incongruent to the Indiana plates on her car. "I'm lost," reads her flier for Lucy, which is applicable to her situation, as well. Like the boy in Baxter, Wendy doesn't resemble her dog, she has become her, a stray. Wendy needs food and water, too. In the end, Lucy is found, but Wendy stays lost, leaving her darling companion behind, in a yard, owned by a kindly old man. Conversely, Beth has everything. Getting her dog back is just showing off. Full Review »
  3. May 29, 2012
    In his first movie since 2003, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has created a mature tale of relationships and a dog. Diane Keaton rescues aIn his first movie since 2003, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has created a mature tale of relationships and a dog. Diane Keaton rescues a lost dog and takes him home to husband Kevin Kline. Life is good until the dog gets lost on vacation, which calls into question their marriage. The solid cast does a nice job and the pacing never lags. You'd think that with a dog as the center conceit, it would certainly be sweet or touching, but it's just pleasant. There are a few mild laughs, but overall, it's unmemorable. Full Review »