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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , ,
  • Summary: On a wintry day, Beth saves a bedraggled lost dog from the side of the freeway. Struggling with her distracted, self-involved husband Joseph and an empty nest at home, Beth forms a special bond with the rescued animal. When Joseph loses the dog after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies, the distraught Beth enlists the help of the few remaining guests and a mysterious young woman in a frantic search. Each member of the search party is affected by the adventure, which takes them in unexpected directions – comic, harrowing, and sometimes deeply emotional. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    May 3, 2012
    75
    You don't have to love dogs to enjoy Darling Companion, but it couldn't hurt.
  2. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 10, 2012
    63
    It's fun to watch Keaton and Kline together, bickering and (of course) bonding all over again.
  3. 50
    While superbly acted, the dramedy plays out like a tepid "Big Chill" at best.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 16, 2012
    50
    This new movie is a trifle, a listless excursion into the luxurious problems of rich, white people.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 17, 2012
    42
    The whole thing has the feel of a fact-based dinner-table anecdote absurdly puffed up to feature length.
  6. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Apr 17, 2012
    40
    The handsome pooch is also the only appealing aspect of the latest tale of privileged boomer pulse-taking from Lawrence Kasdan.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Apr 14, 2012
    12
    A lost-dog drama so insufferable it makes one wish its human characters would also run off and never return.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Sep 13, 2012
    10
    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.... Expand
  2. May 29, 2012
    5
    In 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. Expand
  3. Jun 11, 2012
    1
    This review contains spoilers. 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. Collapse

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