Movie: Darling Companion starring Kasey the dog, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Diane Wiest and Richard Jenkins
Darling Companion is a story about love — all kinds.
Diane Keaton’s character Beth falls in love with an abandoned dog found by the side of the road. She aptly names him Freeway. Meanwhile, her marriage to Joseph, a distracted, irritable doctor (Kevin Kline), is strained. Joseph’s sister Penny (Diane Wiest) is also distracted but for her that’s a good thing. She’s in the throws of budding love with happy-go-lucky Russell (Richard Jenkins). There are plenty more love/companionship subplots that develop while everyone pulls together to hunt for Keaton’s lost dog Freeway who’d sprinted after an animal in the woods and goes missing for three weeks.
The story, though fictional, is based on real life events. The co-writing couple, Meg and Lawrence Kasdan, adopted a mixed breed dog, Mac, then lost him for three weeks in the High Rockies. Just as in the film, the entire town joined in to search for the missing pooch. Another true detail: Meg Kasdan’s sister, while driving down a Detroit freeway, really did spot a neglected dog, pulled over and heroically dashed up an embankment to rescue him. She named him Freeway.
Darling Companion’s Freeway is played by Kasey, a multi-colored Collie mix who’d been abandoned and mistreated and still bears the scar from a too-tightly-tied rope that had been embedded in his neck. Kasey and his understudy,Kuma, an Australian Cattle Dog mix, are both rescued dogs adopted from L.A.shelters and are now seasoned actors provided by Good Dog Animals, acompany run by professional trainers who provide animals for movies and television.
Darling Companion is director Lawrence Kasdan’s eleventh film and is being compared to two of his earlier comic dramas that had ensemble casts, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon—both of which starred Kevin Kline.
This time the cast includes Sam Shepard as Sherriff Morris, Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) as Grace (Keaton and Kline’s daughter) and Ayelet Zurer, who is a scene-stealer as the beautiful, accented, eccentric friend who claims to receive psychic messages about the missing dog.
Opens Friday, April 20, 2012. 103 minutes, PG-13.