I honestly don’t know what’s going on here. The reviews for this film have been lukewarm at best, but when I saw the trailer I thought it looked fantastic. Then a thought occurred to me: Most of the reviews of this film reference the over-indulgence of a bored, rich housewife or wasting time with a self-absorbed family, and I realized most movie critics think this movie is about a p.o.p. A p.o.p. is a problem of the privileged. You know, My maid is stealing or My gardener is peeing in the bushes. I know how little critics get paid, so one can understand the resentment. That being said, a lost pet is a heart-wrenching prospect whether you live in a penthouse or the projects, and I thought this story was lovely.
Beth (Diane Keaton) is a bored, disgruntled housewife with an egocentric surgeon husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline), and an empty nest. When she finds an abandoned dog by the side of the road, her life changes. ‘Freeway’ becomes the center of her world and life is good. While on vacation at their home in the Rockies, Freeway runs off under the notso- watchful eye of Joseph. The next few days become a massive group therapy session, as the houseguests search for the dog. Joseph’s sister, Penny (Dianne Wiest), tries to convince her brother that her new beau, Russell (Richard Jenkins), is worthy. Penny’s son, Bryan (Mark Duplas), tries to explain his relief at his girlfriend’s absence and his attraction to the home’s exotic caretaker, Carmen (Ayelet Zurer). Beth and Joseph simply try to get their marriage back on-track.
I am going out on a limb, but I loved this movie. I’m a sucker for a cute dog, of course, but more than that, this film is intelligent and beautifully acted. It’s a movie about a group of people searching for a lost dog for days, and I never once looked at my watch. It's an 8.