A Dog’s Purpose is one of those family movies that’s mission is to make you cry. Not usually the sort of flick I get amped for. I went along to see kiwi actor K.J. Apa be something other than Archie from Riverdale (yes I’m totally into Riverdale! Leave me alone!). However I didn’t exactly get to see him in a new role…
The premise is cute. It’s a Dog’s journey to find it’s purpose in life. It just happens to be reborn every time one of it’s doggy lives comes to an end (some a lot sooner than others). Of course it gets distracted by bacon, toys and lady dogs along the way! So it’s pretty clear that you are meant to cry in this film. You are going to get to know several different adorable dogs and be forced to watch each one die! SHEEESH. I’m proud to say that I only teared up once during the lonely cop and his dog part. Only a monster wouldn’t cry!
I really enjoyed the cast! Josh Gad’s voice usually sounds a little like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, but he softened it for the role of Bailey the dog, and it was very pleasant! At times he came across as trying a little too hard to be cute which was eye-roll inducing, but overall made a pretty perfect dog voice! Bryce Gheisar, as 8 year old Ethan, was probably the stand out performance for me. He had to convincingly navigate a lot of different situations and he really pulled it off. K.J Apa, the reason I went to this film, was a solid choice to play teenage Ethan. A likable country boy with a promising football career ahead of him and a life-long friendship with his dog Bailey. It definitely wasn’t the most challenging role for him. He was basically playing Archie from Riverdale…but with bad hair and a dog.
Britt Robertson played teenage Ethan’s teenage girlfriend Hannah. It was a nice break from her performance in Netflix series Girlboss (which I am currently binge-watching, despite how irritating Robertson’s character is). She’s your classic lovely, supportive high school girlfriend and she does it well!
Dennis Quaid and Peggy Lipton were pretty darn cute together as the adult versions of Ethan and Hannah. They didn’t get as much on screen time as the others, but even though their part of the story felt a little rushed and silly, they made the time they had count!
A Dog’s Purpose will make you cringe (when it tries too hard), laugh (at some genuinely funny moments), go ‘awwww!’ (A LOT), and maybe make you cry. A decent and pleasant family flick that’s worth checking out!