Burt Reynolds is reassessing his life in Dog Years, a cross-generational comedy making its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Written and directed by Adam Rifkin, the film stars Reynolds as a once-beloved actor who is deeply affected by the passing of his beloved dog. When he's disappointed upon arriving in his hometown for a lifetime achievement award, he goes on a road trip with his foul-mouthed driver, played by Modern Family's Ariel Winter.
Rifkin wrote Dog Years specifically for Reynolds, his hero since childhood. He sent his finished script, complete with sections using archival footage from the actor's filmography, to Reynolds' manager. "I was thrilled when Burt called me the next day and told me he was in," Rifkin tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We then approached the rights holders of all of the archival footage, and everybody was eager to cooperate."
Reynolds' character, Vic, and Winter's Lil may be coming from opposite ends of life, but they meet as they're both experiencing their own pivotal moment: A regretful Vic is gazing back at a lifetime of mistakes, while a cynical Lil seems all too ready to make some of her own. In THR's exclusive clip of the movie, Vic opens up to Lil about the moment he proposed to his first wife: "We always talked about how we'd come back here someday, but we never did."
"Growing old, looking back on one's life and realizing how quickly the years have flown by, and passing the torch of knowledge and experience onto a new generation, is universal," says Rifkin. "Dog Years is about the mistakes we all make, but it's also about finding redemption and forgiveness for yourself and realizing that it's never too late to shift your outlook on life."