Rating: PG, 120 minutes
In a Nutshell: This sugary-sweet family flick feels like a Hallmark card that blends reincarnation with one dog’s discovery about what his purpose is. We could all learn a lesson from him.
Life lessons learned from a dog:
• Have fun. Obviously.
• Whenever possible, find someone to save and save them.
• Lick the ones you love.
• Don’t get all sad-faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could; just be here now. Be. Here. Now.
Things I liked:
• Josh Gad’s voice is unmistakable and awesome.
• Britt Robertson seems to be in every family-friendly movie lately. She’s adorable and so doggone likable.
• Other likable cast members include Dennis Quaid, Peggy Lipton, KJ Apa, and Jon Ortiz.
• It's a film version of W. Bruce Cameron's best-selling novel in 2010.
* If you've ever lived with a dog, you'll be able to relate to many of the
moments in the movie.
Things I didn’t like:
• It’s manipulative for sure, but you’ll still cry.
• Children will enjoy it, but a lot of adults will mostly tolerate it on their kids’ behalf.
• The trailer pretty much tells you the whole story.
• You’ll feel sad about the times you didn’t play with your dog.
• There are quite a few sad death scenes.
• There are some dogs on the movie poster that are never shown in the movie. For example, the dog never becomes a pug.
• PETA and TMZ have created a lot of stink about animals that may have been harmed in the making of this movie, but those involved in the film say their reports are inaccurate and misleading.
• The dog reports on what he sees happening from a dog’s perspective, which is often amusing, but not funny enough to evoke actual laughter from the audience.
• “If I can get you licking and loving, I’ve served my purpose.” - dog (This line is in the trailer, but not in the actual movie.)
• “Life’s a mystery.” - Ethan•
• “I got a name. My name is Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey.” – Bailey
Tips for parents:
• Young children will probably like it, although the reincarnation aspect of the story will be confusing for them. You’ll need to decide if you’re going to affirm that as true doctrine or instead, teach the principle of resurrection.
* You see Bailey die over and over again.
* There are some dark story lines that include a gunshot death (with blood), domestic fights, drunkenness, kidnapping, a prank that burns a house down, and people who don't treat dogs well.
* Clean language.