Having enjoyed reading Garth Stein’s best-selling novel, I wondered if the screen version could capture the philosophical dog’s witty (and sometimes) grouchy inner monologue.
I needn’t have worried.
Director Simon Curtis’s decision to use Kevin Costner as Enzo’s “voice” was a stroke of genius.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life and recalls all the experiences of his family: struggling race car driver Denny Swift (Milo Venitmiglia), wife Eve (Amanda Seyfried), and their daughter Zoe (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).
Intelligent and introspective, the adorable Golden Retriever believes that good dogs will be reincarnated as people in their next lives. With that goal in mind, Enzo spends his days trying to absorb as much as possible about the human condition. He watches over his family through happiness, tragedy, and a troublesome court case that dominates the film’s second half.
An avid television fan, Enzo follows the latest news in the racing car industry and takes to heart the findings of a Mongolian documentary. In spite of his enlightened views, he is intimidated and frustrated by a toy zebra in Zoe’s bedroom. A bizarre encounter follows.
Enzo often laments his limitations, among them a flat tongue that prevents him from speaking English and the lack of thumbs that hinder his ability to open doors.
This family-friendly film will appeal to dog lovers and wannabe dog lovers. Remember to bring tissues.