Empty-nester Beth, played by Diane Keaton, loves her dog, Freeway, more than her doctor husband. Meanwhile, her doctor husband, Joseph (Kevin Kline), loves his work more than her. When Joseph loses Freeway at their vacation home in the Rocky Mountains after a family wedding, emotional hell breaks loose. "You love spinal surgery more than you love me!" Beth basically screams over and over. "You are menopausal!" Joseph basically screams back.

In most movies starring a dog, the dog actor is the worst on-screen. But in Darling Companion, you can't help but empathize with poor Freeway, forced to flee into the Rockies to escape this self-absorbed, screamy family, and can only wish that the film builds to their eventual deaths.

Spoiler alert: It does not.

Beth rounds up the few remaining wedding guests—including their hot gypsy cabin caretaker, Joseph's timid hippie sister (Dianne Wiest) and her new cash-poor boyfriend, and a doctor nephew—to run through forests screaming "Freeway" over and over, as if existentially searching for a paved path out of the shitty plot in which they are mired.

Fortunately for that sputtering plot, the hot gypsy caretaker is also a psychic who "smells things on the air" and can track people's "spirit mates." There are passing moments of mild amusement as the family puts dog hair in their bras "so Freeway can feel [their] concern" and gamely follows the gypsy's vision-inspired goose chase, but only if it was your childhood dream to one day fuck with the emotions of gullible rich people.

I am a dog lover, and yet the extreme, yuppie lengths that this family goes through to find their missing pet—even grounding a chartered plane when Beth claims to spot the dog from 2,000 feet up—made me hate all dog lovers.

And in the end, not a moment goes by that you find yourself hoping with less fervency that they all die of exposure. recommended