By Tania Phillips
A Dog’s Purpose (PG)
Starring: Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, Dennis Quaid
If ever there was a movie designed to have you reaching for the tissues, it’s A Dog’s Purpose – this is The Notebook with fur.
Well, not quite but you get the emotion level they are going for.
It’s the story of a devoted dog who is intent on finding the meaning of his own existence through the humans he interacts with over a few lifetimes and decades.
Josh Gad swaps his role as a fabulous Frenchman in love with the wrong guy in Beauty and the Beast for another beast – voicing the inner thoughts of the dog – dogs from Bailey through to Buddy and everyone in between.
We meet Bailey as a Golden Retriever puppy in the early ’60s as he finds his way to eight-year-old Ethan for a long and very eventful life together. But the end of Bailey’s long life as a beloved family pet is just the beginning of his journey.
Reborn as a puppy again, Bailey wonders – will he ever find his purpose? And we wonder if our tissue box will last through until he does.
Mind you this isn’t in all dead dogs and tears – there is plenty of humour (some of the best involving a cat and an odd couple relationship between a Corgi and a much bigger dog) to balance out the emotional moments. It also has it’s uplifting moments and Josh Gad is a hoot as the internal monologue voice of the dogs. But take your tissues if you’re a dog lover.
And if you’re not? Then maybe this isn’t the film you were looking for.