Like Marley & Me, Lasse Hallström’s A Dog’s Purpose isn’t going to shake you to your very core, but it’ll definitely make you cry (several times).
The film is told from the perspective of one dog (Josh Gad), who is reborn as different breeds after each life sadly ends. The happiest memory for the pet pooch was when he was Bailey, a Golden Retriever who was particularly attached to his owner Ethan (Bryce Gheisar, KJ Apa, Dennis Quaid).
The film spends most of its time looking at the bond between Bailey and Ethan, revealing the dog’s difficulty processing and understanding the more complex moments in his owner’s life, but nevertheless sensing when he needs him the most. The relationship between the pair provides plenty of laughs and a fair share of sad moments, giving the film a strong emotional core that I was surprisingly invested in.
There are some great breaks from this relationship however, particularly when Bailey is reincarnated as a Corgi named Tino, who enjoys a life of pizza, ice cream and love with owner Maya, played by a sweet and endearing Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
For animal lovers, families, and anyone after a cinematic cuddle, A Dog’s Purpose will more than do the trick. Be warned though…the tears will flow freely.