Movie Review: A Dog's Purpose..An Everlasting Film

Have you ever had to put a dog to sleep? A cat? A pet? Then A Dog's Purpose is for you. And a box of Kleenex. A dog's love is unconditional. A Dog's Purpose directed by the talented Lasse Hallstrom demonstrates this. This is the story of four dogs who talk. And share their view of their owners and the world. Caveat. They all have the same spirit. Are the same spirit. Reincarnation. The first dog is a Labrador named Boss. He is so lovingly portrayed and a bit soppy at times, so much so that you know his impending death is going to be a corker. In a way this is the weakest and most manipulative part of the film because it is filmed in such a story book, sunlit setting that you know the director is setting your emotions up for a tumble And that Kleenex box. Boss's owner is Ethan played by AJ Apa who has the boyish good looks of a young Tony Perkins and who lives on a farm out of Andrew Wyeth country.
But after Boss dies, another dog is quickly born on the silver screen and this time he is a German Shepard who becomes a police dog. He has a different name but the same voice. John Ortiz known for Silver Linings Playbook is a Police Officer who falls in love with his police dog who saves his life and a victim. But the courageous police dog dies in the line of fire.
Next! The third dog is a Corgi and adorable and by now you are getting the idea that the spirit of the same dog goes on, but the breed simply changes. And the environment and owner. Pooch Hall as Al appears in this segment and for a minute I thought he was pop star, The Weekend. He has a smooth, congenial presence and way with the lens. I only wish his part were bigger.
Finally Denise Quaid pops up for the O'Henry ending which is charming. A delight. Your tears will turn into smiles and a feel good film is sleeping under what begins a tear jerker.
Dennis Quaid is the most known actor and the last couple along with Peggy Lipton (Mod Squad) to offer a home to the same spirit who is reborn but now as a Collie. Quaid, an excellent actor, adds a touching aging quality to a dog's life. Quaid is a ruggedly handsome actor who much like beautiful women, needs lighting to be kind to him. In his opening scenes he is harshly lit and not the same handsome Dennis Quaid we have known to love. Errror of the cinematographer. Proof in his final scenes he looks great and rejuvenated. Men need tender loving care when photographed every bit as much as women. As to Peggy Lipton, it is great to see her come back to film after so many years, but her pumped up collagen lips do not enhance her beauty. Wish she had trusted herself and stayed away from the plastic surgeon.
The message of A Dogs Purpose that I was able to take away is the importance of giving love to a pet. I had a difficult 2016 as two of my beloved cats of thirteen years passed within two weeks. Four hours before the death of the second I had rescued another cat in anticipation of the loss of a cherished family member. I needed my family united when the moment came to put her down and I know that her spirit is somewhere in the new cat I rescued. And this is what this film is about. Universal life. Love. Life after death and the need to offer love to a pet is as important as giving a home to that pet. For the pet and for the owner. Life goes on in the afterlife which is what A Dog's Purpose illustrates. And why A Dog's Purpose is an important film.