Darling Companion is a comedy about many varieties of companionship. At the
center of the movie is a marriage that has gone on for a long time and become
frayed. Surrounding that union are young people falling in love, a brand-new
marriage and the surprise of mid-life romance.
The film is also about the connection that sometimes happens between a human
being and a pet - the love, friendship and solace that can pass between species.
Anyone who's ever had a dog knows they live in the moment. That fact of their
behavior can have a revivifying effect on the people around them. While humans
worry about the future and mull over the past, dogs bring us back to the present
with the uncomplicated joy they take in the here and now - getting outside with
us for a walk, having their meal, being stroked.
The movie probably began the day my wife Meg and I rescued a mutt named Mac from
a cacophonous dog shelter in Los Angeles. After taking that dog into our lives
and affections, he was lost during an outing in the Rockies. We spent three
weeks searching, calling his name up and down mountain trails, enlisting our
friends and family. The whole town was on the lookout. Just at the moment we had
given up hope, a stranger who had seen our flyers found Mac playing with her
dogs by the river. Mac was dirty and thin, but uninjured. Friends and searchers
around town and across the country celebrated his recovery.
The characters in Darling Companion are fictional, but the sense of how our
affection for these animals can bring people together is very true to this
production. This is my eleventh film, but my first independent production. The
incredible cast and crew who agreed to work with us - for scale - signed on
because they responded strongly to the story.
The production brought together old friends we've worked with for many years,
like Kevin Kline, our longtime editor, Carol Littleton, our composer, James
Newton Howard, and costume designer Molly Maginnis. We were able to attract
people whose work we've admired forever, like Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest,
Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard; and people just now taking off in the film
business, like director of photography Michael McDonough and production designer
We converged in Utah to shoot our movie with a limited budget and a tight
schedule, helped along by some very remarkable dogs and their equally remarkable
Darling Companion became one of the most gratifying filmmaking experiences I've
-- Lawrence Kasdan
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