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The ‘Darling Companion’ Reviews: How Bad Are They?

A photo of Diane Keaton washing a stray dog in the bathtub, as the dog looks gratefully at herWilson Webb / Sony Pictures Classics

How bad are the reviews for Darling Companion, Lawrence Kasdan‘s new lost-dog movie?

Pretty bad.

“A new low not just for writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, but for virtually every member of its esteemed cast… A cornucopia of cornball bathos.”
– Slant

“As bland and soft as a nice bowl of oatmeal… Has the look and tempo of a commercial for an arthritis medication.”
– Time

“Heartbreakingly limp.”
– New York Magazine
“If you found ‘Benji the Hunted’ unbearably intense or ‘Marley & Me’ a bit too hard-edged, then ‘Darling Companion’ may be the dog movie for you.”
– New York Times
“Kasdan looks like a flailing, irrelevant has-been… [a] pallid, embarrassing canine comedy that squanders a cast of terrific actors.”
– Salon

“Genially terrible… a therapeutic intervention passing as family dramedy for our times.”

“Aimless, tedious and sometimes downright ridiculous… as a director, Kasdan seems frozen in time.”
– Movieline
“Utterly neutered.”
– Associated Press
Andrew O’Hehir of Salon takes a pass at decoding what happened to Lawrence Kasdan after his big win with The Big Chill in 1983:
“[The Big Chill] was such a huge success, and touched the lives of such a vast cohort of baby boomers who were then around 30, that it sent [Kasdan] in entirely the wrong direction. I get it, actually. It would have required superhuman willpower to say: Well, I told a story about my own life and got three Oscar nominations, and a whole generation of college-educated white folks bought into it as being their story too. But I should just go back to writing thrillers and adventure movies because that’s what I’m actually good at!”

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