A Dog’s Purpose (2017) Review

A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Directed by Lasse Hallström

Based on A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, KJ Apa, Juliet Rylance, John Ortiz, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Peggy Lipton

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.

My Opinion:

So, yeah – I clearly went to this with the family over the weekend. You know what? It’s not bad! For a family movie. Well, it’s actually not bad for a movie in general. Hubby & I often say that they don’t seem to do as many non-animated “family films” nowadays. We had so many growing up in the Eighties! I miss them. And now that I have a young kid, I want more of them again.

My main concern beforehand was that this movie would be overly sentimental or, even WORSE and a massive pet peeve of mine, that it would be preachy. I hate movies that shove their values down your throat! Luckily, A Dog’s Purpose doesn’t do this. It tells the story in a straightforward way and it’s obvious message (of what things are truly the most important in life) isn’t at all heavy-handed. It comes fairly close to being like all my beloved 80’s family films I saw on TV all the time growing up. Plus, of course, it has cute dogs. Who doesn’t love cute wittle doggies?!

I just have to say something that may be spoiler territory if you know nothing at all but is known if you’ve seen the trailer or read the synopsis: There are several dogs (five, I think) because the dog keeps getting reincarnated. It was cool seeing him as different dogs (always voiced by Josh Gad) and with different owners/families. I like the sort of setup where you get several different stories in a movie and it worked really well in this film. Anyway – someone started sobbing the first time the dog died and I was thinking “I do hope they realize this is gonna happen over & over again.” Lol. Not to be cold-hearted but, seriously, you must know what you’re getting into if you go to a movie where a dog keeps getting reincarnated… 😉 (That person cried every time)

A Dog’s Purpose was a pleasant surprise and a nice return to an old-fashioned family friendly film with a positive message that occurs naturally instead of feeling forced. Will you enjoy it even if you don’t have a family? I think any dog lover certainly will. And with several different stories, you’ll find one or two that you connect with the most. I liked the main story focusing on the dog as a golden retriever named Bailey, which is the personality the dog continues to identify with and remember through all his lifetimes, and the story where he’s a corgi named Tino belonging to a lonely college girl. I guarantee you’ll love Bailey, no matter which form he takes. And as an added plus, the human characters are likable as well!

My Rating: 7/10

FYI – I’d heard nothing of the controversy surrounding this film due to a video of alleged animal abuse that made the rounds just as this movie was released in the US (maybe that’s why it has come out so much later in the UK). Anyway, as with most fake news, I’m sure that faked video was spread around far more than the story of the investigation that showed it was re-edited to make it look like animal abuse. Here’s the story (from Los Angeles Daily News). Hopefully no one’s career was ruined. We all care about animals being treated well but I often wish humans cared half as much about other human beings as they do animals.

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My Top Ten Happy Songs

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I didn’t realize I had so many songs that “make me happy” until I started putting this list together. I wouldn’t say that these are songs that cheer me up, exactly, as I tend to listen to angry heavy metal when I’m down. However, when I’m already in a good mood and the sun is actually shining (rare occasion in the UK), these are my favorite “happy songs” to listen to. A lot of these are pure cheese, I know… Don’t judge me! 😉

Counting down from ten to my number one favorite, here are My Top Ten Happy Songs:

10. TIE: Slade – Run Runaway & Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride

9. Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

8. Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out

7. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky

6. Kermit – The Rainbow Connection

5. Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen

4. Hot Butter – Popcorn

3. The Cure – In Between Days

2. Supertramp – The Logical Song

1. The Clash – Train In Vain

Honorable Mentions:
Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Cat Stevens – If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
Sugar Ray – Every Morning
Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Kid Cudi – Pursuit Of Happiness
New Radicals – You Get What You Give
David Bowie – Magic Dance
Donovan – Sunshine Superman
New Order – Temptation

I had about a million honorable mentions – I really had to narrow it down! A special shout out to David Byrne as hearing his voice on any song always makes me happy as well.

Top Ten Lists:

I’ve had a list for ages now of just under 100 different top ten lists I’d like to do but just never seem to get around to putting the posts together. Does anyone like these top ten lists? Should I keep doing them? I was thinking of aiming to post them on Thursdays (when I have the time). They’re mostly movie-related but there are quite a few music ones as well. Sometimes it’ll just be a simple list like this one but other times I’ll explain myself (like I did with last week’s list of My Top Ten Band Names). Let me know what you think. I can’t guarantee every Thursday but I’d do my best. 🙂