Screenwriter Mark Bomback has adapted the three-hankie property from author and movie producer Garth Stein, and Simon Curtis directs. They have created a film aimed with lethal efficiency at your tear-ducts like Chuck Norris putting his boot into your kidneys. Milo Ventimiglia plays Denny, a race car driver renowned for an ability to handle his vehicle in the rain – and perhaps also for piloting his family’s lives through a tear-fall of sadness. He’s devoted to his dog, Enzo (Costner), who with decent canine stoicism accepts the loss of attention when Denny falls in love with Eve (Amanda Seyfried ) and then they have a baby. But a dark shadow falls when Eve begins to feel unwell. And who do you suppose is going to step up and keep the family together? The purely outrageous final scene addresses Enzo’s own belief that dogs can evolve upwards into homo sapiens. His canine existence looks dignified enough to me.
• The Art of Racing in the Rain is released in the UK and US on 9 April.
Pitter patter. A large breed dog’s resting heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, and a small dog breed’s heart beats between 100-140. Comparatively, a resting human heart beats 60-100 times per minute.