Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Kevin Costner, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Baker, Martin Donovan, Gary Cole, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Giacomo Finn
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Comedy drama directed by Simon Curtis in which the story follows wise old dog Enzo Swift (Kevin Costner), who recalls the life lessons he has learned from his race car driving owner, Denny Swift (Milo Ventimiglia).
Our Favorite Quotes:'The best drivers focus only on the present. Never dwelling on the past, never committing to the future. Reflection must come at a later time.' - Enzo (The Art of Racing in the Rain) Click To Tweet 'When I'm in a race car, I'm the creator of my own destiny. “That which you manifest is before you.” Create your own conditions, and rain is just rain.' - Denny Swift (The Art of Racing in the Rain) Click To Tweet 'A dog can change the tempo of the world, but people are at its mercy.' - Enzo (The Art of Racing in the Rain) Click To Tweet 'There's no dishonor in losing the race, there's only dishonor in not racing because you're afraid to lose.' - Don Kitch (The Art of Racing in the Rain) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 45)
[first lines; we see Enzo, looking ill, lying on the floor]
Enzo: [voice over] Gestures are all that I have. I have no words I can rely on, because my tongue was designed long and flat, and is therefore an ineffective tool for making complicated polysyllabic sounds. And that is why I’m here now, waiting for Denny to come home, lying in a puddle of my own making.
[as Denny picks up Enzo from the floor and carries him]
Enzo: [voice over] If only I could speak, I would tell him not to worry. I saw a documentary about Mongolia on TV once. In Mongolia, they believe that when a dog has finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man.
[Denny takes Enzo over to the couch]
Denny Swift: I’m right here, bud. There he is.
Enzo: [voice over] I realize this would mean losing all my memories, my experiences. But I have a plan. I will try to imprint what I know on my soul, carry it so deeply in the pockets of my existence that when I open my eyes, and look down at my new hands, I will already know.
[Denny is petting Enzo lovingly]
Denny Swift: There’s my Enzo.
Enzo: [voice over] I will be ready. I will remember.
[Enzo begins to narrate his life]
Enzo: [voice over] He picked me out of a pile of pups, a tangled mass of paws and tails. He’d stopped at the farm on his way home from the speedway at Yakima. Even back then, I knew I was different than other dogs. My soul just felt more human.
[referring to puppy Enzo]
Denny Swift: This one. Definitely this one.
Mrs. Spangle: The pick of the litter.
Enzo: [voice over] She always said that.
[Denny picks up Enzo]
Mr. Spangle: Well, just a minute now. We were thinking of keeping that one.
Enzo: [voice over] He always said that too.
Denny Swift: [to Enzo] Hey.
[to Mr. Spangle]
Denny Swift: How much?
[we see Denny driving off with Enzo in his car]
Enzo: [voice over] And so, I had my first glimpse at the rest of my life.
[as Denny is watching TV with Enzo at his side]
Enzo: [voice over] I’d later learn it was called a television. And, in time, it would teach me much about human behavior. But that night, it felt like a window into a whole new world.
Denny Swift: Oh, you like that, huh?
Enzo: [voice over] Like it? No, I loved it.
Don Kitch: In all my years of racing, I’ve never seen anyone like Denny in the wet. Reminds me what they used to say about Senna, “When it rains, it doesn’t rain on him.”
Enzo: [voice over] And when he won I felt like I’d witnessed true greatness.
[referring to Denny]
Enzo: [voice over] Call it fate, call it love, all I knew was, I was meant to be his dog.
Enzo: [voice over] Denny always said, the best drivers focus only on the present. Never dwelling on the past, never committing to the future. Reflection must come at a later time. Which is why drivers compulsively record their every move with their in-car cameras.
Enzo: [voice over] I learned so much from him about balance, anticipation, patience.
Denny Swift: Car goes where your eyes go, Enz.
Enzo: [voice over] And I would fantasize that one day I, too, might actually race.
Enzo: [voice over] There’s an old saying I’d often hear Denny repeat, “No race was ever won in the first corner, but many have been lost there.”
Denny Swift: Just you and me, Enz. Always you and me.
Enzo: [voice over] Nothing was more important to us than racing. I knew it was only a matter of time before Denny reached his goal of racing Formula One in Europe. And the whole world would see him the way I did. He’d be adored by fans everywhere. His victories the stuff of legend. His name inscribed alongside the very best our sport has ever known. But for now, he was my champion alone.
[referring to Eve]
Enzo: [voice over] And then she showed up.
Enzo: [voice over] My first impression of Eve was as complicated as the scents in the air.
Eve: I’m not really much of a dog person.
Enzo: [voice over] A mélange of produce, shampoo and pheromones.
Denny Swift: Yeah, well, he’s more person than dog.
Enzo: [voice over] Denny was clearly taken with her grooming. She probably bathed every day, for all I knew.
Eve: Does he always stare at people like this?
Denny Swift: If he likes them.
Eve: Hey, Enzo. You don’t mind if I love him too, do you?
Enzo: [voice over] As if I had a say in the matter.
[referring to Denny and Eve]
Enzo: [voice over] They were married at a magnificent palace with its very own ocean. The kind of place I had assumed only existed on television. I tried my best to be helpful. I minded my manners, resisted snacking on the trays of exquisite appetizers, and made sure to do my business in the flowerbed farthest from the festivities. The place belonged to Eve’s parents, Trish and Maxwell, who I confess I first mistook for twins.
[at Denny and Eve’s wedding]
Wedding Officient: Would the bearer please bring the rings forward?
[we see Enzo walk towards Denny and Eve at the alter]
Enzo: [voice over] When the time came, I did as I was instructed, for Denny’s sake.
Denny Swift: Good boy. Come on, Enz. Come here, bud. Hey. Good boy.
[Denny takes the rings from Enzo collar]
Enzo: [voice over] I’ve learned that people will say just about anything in front of me, as I am only a dumb dog.
[referring to Eve; who is pregnant]
Enzo: [voice over] To be honest, I still didn’t share Denny’s overt affection for her. But we developed a rhythm of our own. At times, she even reminded me of my own mother when she would sigh and shrug herself into a prone position.
[Enzo watches Zoe lie down on the couch]
Eve: Oh, God.
Enzo: [voice over] It must be amazing to have a body that can carry an entire creature inside. I mean, other than a tapeworm, which I’ve had.
[as she strokes her belly]
Eve: Do you want to know what it feels like?
[Enzo goes over to Eve and lies his head on her pregnant belly]
Eve: Good boy.
[Enzo suddenly lifts his head]
Eve: Did you feel that? Did you feel that kick? Oh, sweet boy, come here. It’s okay. Come here. That’s okay.
[she strokes Enzo’s head as he lays his head down on her belly again]
Enzo: [voice over] I couldn’t imagine what was going on inside Eve’s magic sack where the baby was being assembled. I just hoped it would look like me.
Denny Swift: We lost. It’s no big deal. We were leading by a lap going into the last stint. And I told Murph I felt up to finishing, but the sponsors were pressuring him to go with this wonder kid from California who’d been doing a bunch of press lately. Ten minutes in, the kid hit the wall. Totaled the car.
Eve: But you drove well.
Denny Swift: Yeah, it doesn’t really mean a whole lot if your team doesn’t finish. It’s okay. Really. There’s going to be other races.
[referring to Zoe]
Enzo: [voice over] It amazed me, the power exerted by a creature as tiny as our little Zoe. A power she wielded over me as well, with no more effort than the earth does the moon in its orbit. I was an integral figure in her entertainment, leaping after tennis balls, and scrambling back to catch them, then dancing like a four-legged clown to catch them again. I was so immersed in her world that I’d lose count of the weeks and months. And when she would tell her playmates that I was her big brother, my heart would swell with pride.
Enzo: [voice over] I spent a sleepless night contemplating what Denny had said. Quit racing? He was a race car driver the way I was a dog. It was his nature, his destiny.
Enzo: [voice over] And then all my worries about Denny were eclipsed by a smell. An odor coming from her ears and sinuses like decay, like rotting wood. Given a facile tongue, I could have warned her.
[as she’s trying to feed him his dinner, but Enzo is just looking at her]
Eve: Don’t give me a hard time, too, buddy.
Enzo: [voice over] Instead, all I could do was watch and feel empty inside because there was nothing I could do to help her.
[as he’s watching over Zoe sleep, he stares at her stuffed toy zebra]
Enzo: [voice over] In the zebra’s mute stare, I could sense it mocking my predicament. Eve had assigned me to protect Zoe. But no one had been assigned to protect Eve.
Eve: How come you go through the turns so much faster than the other cars?
Denny Swift: Well, most drivers are afraid of the rain, because it’s an unpredictable element. They’re forced to react to it. And if they’re reacting at speed, then they’re probably too late, so they should be afraid of it.
Eve: Well, I’m afraid just watching it.
Denny Swift: Yeah, but if you intentionally make the car do something, you don’t have to predict. You control the outcome.
Eve: So you skid the car before it skids itself?
Denny Swift: Yeah. Yeah. When I’m in a race car, I’m the creator of my own destiny. “That which you manifest is before you.” Create your own conditions, and rain is just rain.
Eve: And you can’t give up, not ever. Not for us. Not for anyone. Promise me.
Denny Swift: I promise.
Enzo: [voice over] At that moment, I finally understood Denny’s love for Eve, and why for so long I had been afraid to love her myself. She was my unpredictable element. She was my rain.
[after Eve feels sick and leaves with Zoe to go to stay with her parents]
Enzo: [voice over] It all happened so fast. In five minutes they were gone. But I wasn’t gone. I was still there. Denny always said panic’s a driver’s worst enemy. So, I did not panic. I did not over correct or freeze, even though I knew Denny wouldn’t be home for at least another two days. But I’m a dog. And when God denied dogs the use of thumbs, He gave us the ability to survive without food for extended periods. So although a thumb would’ve been very helpful, allowing me to turn a doorknob, for instance, my second best tool was my ability to go without food.
Enzo: [voice over] The longer my isolation continued, the more anxious I became. What if Denny never returned? With only a limited supply of drinking water, I had no way of knowing how long I’d have to make it last. I sustained myself with the odd stray Cheerio Zoe had dropped, and suffered the indignity of relieving myself on the mat waiting for my ordeal to end.
Enzo: [voice over] It was roughly forty hours into my solitude when I think I began to hallucinate. I’d just discovered some remnants of spilled yogurt when I heard a noise.
[Enzo goes up to Zoe’s room to see her stuffed toy Zebra suddenly become alive and start dancing]
Enzo: [voice over] It was the zebra. I stalked the creature as it performed its brutal burlesque, not sure how much more I could abide. I ran out, hoping what I had seen was only in my mind, a demonic vision driven by lack of glucose. But somehow, I knew that it was true, and that something terrible had happened.
Enzo: [voice over] In racing, your car goes where your eyes go. A driver who cannot tear his gaze from the wall will inevitably meet that wall. But the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free, that driver will maintain control of his car and his destiny. I realized this was what Denny had done. He had manifested a win because he knew we needed one.
[referring to Deny after Eve is taken to the hospital]
Enzo: [voice over] I would have done anything to stay with him. But being a dog, I was not allowed into the hospital to hear the diagnosis or the options being discussed. I was almost ten years old, but no one confided in me, or expected anything except that I control my barking and do my business outside. Somewhere the zebra was dancing. I thought about escaping. I wanted to push everyone away and run off to live with my ancestors on the high desert plains of Mongolia. I might have, too, if not for my absolute faith in Denny’s ability to make things right again.
Enzo: [voice over] The people who cared about Denny made special accommodations. Mike got him some part-time work at the garage and looked after me whenever Denny asked.
[as Enzo watches Denny try to brush and plat Zoe’s hair]
Enzo: [voice over] And there were other skills he was forced to master. Zoe spent the hot summer days at a kids’ camp over by Green Lake, and the occasional night with the twins. On those nights, Denny would stay late at the hospital with Eve. When we’d come home, he would be very quiet. And then it would fall to me to provide what he needed.
Enzo: [voice over] By autumn, we’d come to resemble something like a seasoned pit crew. Anticipating, adjusting, correcting.
Denny Swift: [to Zoe] At some point, in every race, well, you got to take a risk if you want to win.
[after Eve has been allowed to come home from the hospital]
Enzo: [voice over] It must be so difficult being a person. Sometimes I doubt my ability to interact on such a level, but I know it’s required if I’m to become the human I hope to be.
[referring to Eve and Zoe]
Denny Swift: Take care of our girls, Enzo.
Enzo: [voice over] I stayed awake all that night, and many others that followed. The demon was coming for Eve. But he would have to get through me first. Only once the others awoke did I dare relinquish my guard duties.
Eve: [to Enzo] Do you see? Do you? I’m not afraid of it anymore. Because I know it’s not the end. But you knew that, didn’t you? You know everything.
Enzo: [voice over] Not everything, no. But I know this, Eve’s last breath freed her soul. I saw it leave myself, released to continue its journey elsewhere.
[as Enzo gives Denny the remote to turn on the TV]
Enzo: [voice over] I didn’t know what was on. I only knew he needed a distraction. It was something Eve used to do when Denny was down.
[Enzo barks and Denny turns on the TV]
Denny Swift: Okay, you crazy dog.
Enzo: [voice over] It turned out to be the 1989 Luxembourg Grand Prix in which the Irish driver, Kevin Finnerty York, finished victorious while driving the final twenty laps with only two gears. A true champion can accomplish things a normal person would consider impossible. Denny just needed to remember that.
[after Denny has given up custody of Zoe to Eve’s parents]
Enzo: [voice over] The injustice was unbearable. First, Denny lost Eve, and now he would be deprived of Zoe too. Denny struggled as the weeks passed. While I very much wish to be human, there is one advantage to being a dog that I will miss.
[referring to the note from Zoe that he’s put up on the fridge]
Denny Swift: What do you think, Enz?
Enzo: [voice over] It is this, a dog can power down his psyche and slow his metabolism. He can sit for hours on end with no effort. A dog can change the tempo of the world, but people are at its mercy.
[referring to Pantoni]
Don Kitch: He’s asked about you over the years. When I told him what you went through with Eve, he said he wanted to hire you.
Denny Swift: Huh.
Don Kitch: All I know is, he respects how you’re fighting for your daughter.
Denny Swift: And what if I don’t win?
Don Kitch: There’s no dishonor in losing the race, there’s only dishonor in not racing because you’re afraid to lose. Now go find your students, get back on the track. That’s where you belong.
[after Enzo rips the legal document in an attempt to convince Denny to keep fighting for Zoe’s custody]
Denny Swift: Call their lawyers. Tell them we’ll see them in court. I’m with Enzo on this one.
Mark Finn: You’re sure?
Denny Swift: I made Eve a promise. I’m not quitting.
Tony: Man, I got to get me a dog.
Enzo: [voice over] Denny was prepared to risk everything. Lose the case and he would lose Zoe. His breathing that morning struck me as unusual. Deep inhalations, quick exhalations. It was a sound I recognized. It was the way he breathed just before a race.
[after Denny wins full custody of Zoe]
Enzo: [voice over] He’d done it. Denny’s risk had paid off. If a driver has the courage to create his own conditions, then the rain is simply rain.
Enzo: [voice over] Sometimes my life seems like it has been so long and so short at the same time. I feel as if I’ve lived for an eternity. And yet it’s as if no time has passed at all.
[we see Enzo from the beginning of the film, looking ill and lying on the floor]
Denny Swift: Enzo?
Enzo: [voice over] I hear the worry in his voice.
Denny Swift: What happened, pal? Oh, Enz.
Enzo: [voice over] I could smell the day on him. Motor oil, and gasoline, and roast chicken.
Denny Swift: Can you get up, bud?
[Enzo just lies on the floor]
Enzo: [voice over] I saw a documentary about Mongolia on TV once. In Mongolia, when a dog dies, he is buried high in the hills, so people cannot walk on his grave.
Denny Swift: I’m here, buddy. I’m right here.
Enzo: [voice over] His master whispers into the dog’s ears his wishes that in his next life the dog will return as a man. Not all dogs return as men, they say. Only those who are ready.
Denny Swift: Let’s get you up.
Enzo: [voice over] I am ready.
Enzo: [voice over] I know death is not the end. Eve told me so, and I believe her. When I return to this world, I will practically be an adult the moment I am plucked from the womb with all the preparation I have done.
[Denny carries Enzo over to the couch and lays Enz on his lap as he sits]
Denny Swift: There he is.
Enzo: [voice over] I will walk among my fellow men, lick my lips with my small dexterous tongue and shake hands with a firm grasp.
[as he pets Enzo lovingly]
Denny Swift: There’s my Enzo.
Enzo: [voice over] And I will teach people all that I know. All that I have learned.
[Denny turns on the TV for Enzo to watch racing]
Denny Swift: You okay now?
Enzo: [voice over] I’m fine, Denny. I am.
Denny Swift: You’ve always been with me. You’ve always been my Enzo. First time I saw you, I knew we were supposed to be together. I love you, boy.
[as Denny is driving Enzo around the race track]
Enzo: [voice over] I’d like to stay out here forever. Stay with them forever.
Denny Swift: [to Enzo] We’re going to take this one at speed. You okay?
Enzo: [voice over] I wish I could glimpse what awaits them in Maranello. Denny will be a wonderful driver for Ferrari. So wonderful that one day they will pluck him from the ranks to give him a tryout for their Formula One team. “Try me,” he’ll say. I’d like to see that. But we can’t have everything we want. Besides, the best drivers don’t dwell on the future or the past. The best drivers focus only on the present.
Denny Swift: [to Enzo] You’ve been a good friend. A very good friend.
Enzo: [voice over] The best of friends. We’ll be heading home soon. But for now, all I want is one more lap. Just one more. I’ll bark again so he knows.
Enzo: [voice over] Faster, Denny. Faster!
[last lines; eight years later, Denny is a Formula One driver living in Italy with Zoe, he signs an autograph for a young fan]
Enzo: My name is Enzo.
Enzo’s Father: He wants to be a champion, like you.
Denny Swift: Mi scusi. Your son reminds me of an old friend of mine. My phone number in Maranello. When you think your son is ready, give me a call. I’ll make sure he gets proper instruction.
Enzo’s Father: Grazie. He talks about you always. He says that you are the greatest driver ever. Better even than Senna.
[they both laugh]
Denny Swift: Well, he’s a race car driver at heart.
Enzo’s Father: Grazie! Grazie mille!
Denny Swift: Prego.
[Denny and Zoe watch Enzo and his father walk away]
Denny Swift: [to Zoe] Come on.
Total Quotes: 45
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