I gotta start with a full disclosure here. I love dogs. I have some myself. This movie was made for people like me, and it'll be hard for me to not see past some of the flaws it does have. Actually I take that back. If this was a horrible movie; dog lover or not, I wouldn't be able to see past the flaws it does have. Thankfully, it's not a horrible movie at all! It may however be a bit on the uninspired variety, has the predictable cliches, overly sentimental, and is undeniably emotionally manipulative. Still the same though, it has one thing going for it, and that's the journey that the dog named Bailey goes through in the story.
While there are several human characters here, the main star of this movie is the dog named Bailey; voiced by Josh Gad. The gimmick is that when Bailey passes away, he reincarnates into different types of dogs, which also allows the story to give us different eras of time to see because of the premise. Personally, seeing Bailey pass away multiple times pushed my limits on how much I could hold back my tears. Of course, I have to once again remind you that considering my love for Dogs, I'm conditioned to get a strong reaction from such scenes, so I understand if reactions will vary per person. Bailey passing away or the sad situations a dog can go through, aren't the only types of scenes that generated strong emotions from me, as there were many very positively touching moments as well.
This movie does a good job in celebrating the relationship between humans and their canine companions. There's a lot of scenes that effectively promotes why everybody should adopt a dog, and showcases the positives and negatives that comes with that. The aspect that I think they really did a great job in, is the characterization of Bailey. That dog may seem to have some comprehension about the world; not too far from a human's perspective, but he isn't too smart to the point that he understands everything that is happening. That characterization of Bailey, his perspective on his different owners, and his reactions to what happens to him throughout his lives, are what really sold this movie for me.
It may have been pandering to dog lovers everywhere, but this movie really hit all the right spots with me. If somebody who watches this ends up going to the animal shelter and adopts a dog because of it, then this movie served it's purpose. It may not be a perfect movie, but it had it's heart in the right place.
lovedit ENJOYED IT itsokayitsmehitsterrible