Review: A Dog’s Purpose is a Sweet and Sentimental Success

Graphic by Mel Egan

By Carly Saada

Arts Reporter

If you love dogs as much as I do, A Dog’s Purpose is the perfect movie for you!

A Dog’s Purpose, originally a novel by W. Bruce Cameron, follows each new life that a dog (originally Bailey) goes through as he seeks new and interesting experiences full of love and compassion. Although each life is  different, it demonstrates that no matter how big or small the dog’s job is, it still has a meaning.

The dog starts out with an eight year old boy, Ethan (Bryce Gheisar). Ethan is lonely as his dad (Luke Kirby) struggles with his job and his mom strives to make both Ethan and her husband happy.

A few years pass and Ethan is the star quarterback of his football team. His dad is an alcoholic and his mom is just trying to get by. Although Bailey is a great companion to always have, Ethan meets a girl named Hannah (Britt Robertson), who then becomes another addition to their pack. But after Bailey dies, he doesn’t go away. Instead he is reincarnated into another dog, ready to serve another purpose.

Bailey goes through many lives and becomes everything from a police assistant to a matchmaker, until, years later, he finally ends up back where he started with an adult Ethan (Dennis Quaid).

Common Sense Media expresses that, “it’s the Bailey-Ethan bond that’s most meaningful for this particular dog, and the way they find their way back to each other again is likely to leave you sniffling.”

According to Metacritic, A Dog’s Purpose is the 55th best movie, eighth most discussed movie, and 12th most shared movie of 2017. The high ranking for most discussed is probably due to the controversy of whether there actually was animal abuse in the making of this film.

A little while before the movie came out, there was a video released of a dog being unwillingly pushed into a pool with big waves. According to an article on Vulture.com, “not only were no animals harmed during the making of the film, but also the viral video was falsified.”

American Humane Association, the organization who supervised the numerous animals on the set of the family-friendly drama, shared the findings in a lengthy post on their website. “An independent, third-party investigation conducted by a respected animal cruelty expert into the treatment of animals in the filming of A Dog’s Purpose concluded that an edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set.” 

So if you were worried about supporting a film with questionable practices, you can now enjoy the movie guilt-free! This movie is truly for all ages. Even if you are a cat lover, this movie will still make you cry.

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