The cabin's beautiful, longtime keeper Carmen (Ayelet Zurer) joins in the dog hunt, surprising her employers with the revelation that she is a psychic who comes from a long line of gypsies and can tap into the animal spirit world. She continually gives the others insights into where Freeway might have wandered, but most of her tips lead the family on a wild goose chase rather than actually helping to find the dog.
Oscar nominee Sam Shepard plays a small role as the kind but curmudgeonly sheriff who ostensibly helps with the search but mostly complains about his high cholesterol, kidney stones and upcoming colonoscopy.
Tromping through the rainy forest, getting lost in the mountains, fleeing a psychotic hermit and embarking on other canine-hunting misadventures, the characters get plenty of opportunities to suss out their dysfunctions.
The issues they face — coping with advancing age, maintaining long-term relationships and choosing hope over cynicism — are relatable, and the top-notch cast overachieves given the material just doesn't have enough drama to sustain the film.
As with his 2005 romantic comedy “French Kiss,” Kasdan offsets his latest movie's storytelling deficiencies with lingering shots of the gorgeous scenery, this time spotlighting the majestic Rockies and their towering forests.
After awhile, though, there's only so many shots of beautiful vistas and charming doggies before viewers start wishing for a new cinematic companion, like maybe a nice Travel Channel documentary or the Westminster dog show.
— Brandy McDonnell
Starring: Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Mark Duplass. (Some sexual content including references, and language)