"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Darling Companion is the story of love. Love between women and men and love between people and animals. It is heartfelt and filled with many humorous scenes. From filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan, this ensemble story brings together different characters as they unite for one purpose.
Kevin Kline is Joseph Winter, a successful surgeon living in suburban Denver with his wife Beth (Diane Keaton). They have a comfortable existence, yet Beth feels he is more consumed with his career than with his family. One day, while driving along a busy freeway with her daughter Grace (Elisabeth Moss), Beth spots a dog near the side of the road. She immediately goes to the animal and winds up taking him to a vet. Sam (Jay Ali) informs her that she saved the dog's life, but without a home, the pooch will most likely be euthanized.
Beth decides to take the dog home and gives him the name "Freeway." Freeway fills a void in her life, and ultimately, although he originally resisted, Joseph also becomes accustomed to the dog.
After Grace and Sam get married in Darling Companion, the family is together in their mountain retreat. The newleyweds leave on their honeymoon, leaving Beth, Joseph, Joseph's sister Penny (Diane Wiest), her boyfriend Russell (Richard Jenkins), her son Bryan (Mark Duplass), and the cabin's caretaker Carmen (Ayelet Zurer) alone in the mountains with time to catch up on each other's lives.
When Freeway goes missing, the entire family is turned upside down. While Beth is in a state of despair, Joseph tells her he's just a dog. "Love is love," she bluntly replies. "It doesn't matter if it's a dog."
Darling Companion plays out with the individuals searching for Freeway, all the while learning more about each other and discovering that life is short, things can change in the blink of an eye, and family is important. As the crisis escalates, they realize that this one mutt has broadened their lives in ways they could never have expected.
Lawrence Kasdan said about the filming, "we got to work with some amazing actors we've admired for so long, like Keaton and Wiest and Sam Shepard (who plays the local Sheriff)…" Actually, Kevin Kline starred in Kasdan's two other "empty nesters" films: The Big Chill and Grand Canyon. Darling Companion incorporates the beauty of the Rocky Mountains with this journey of personal explorations.
While a drama at its heart, Darling Companion is filled with funny scenes and dialogue, along with a heartfelt story of compassion, understanding, and love. After all, love is love.
This film is rated PG-13.