Tearjerker Film Accurately Portrays Culture
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS-I DESCRIBE SOME OF THE DOG'S OWNERS. IF YOU WANT A TOTAL SURPRISE, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW BEFORE WATCHING.*
First, the cons: This film was a real tearjerker. It starts out with a puppy born on the streets, who is taken in to the pound and euthanized (off screen). So, the movie's only been going for two minutes, and a puppy already died. Not a good sign. Dogs continue to die, again and again, each time in a touching way. The main dog has different animal friends who grow old and die, and he dies multiple times as well. That was hard for me to watch, since I love my dog so much. Also, a jealous friend almost kills the whole family. In one life, the dog witnesses his owner and his owner's girlfriend "licking face and wrestling". He muses that they do this a lot. In another life, after setting up his owner with a boyfriend, the dog says that they "started sleeping together" which is accompanied with a shot of them, fully clothed, napping on the couch after watching TV.
Pros: This movie accurately captures how dogs and people were treated in the USA over the years. The first dog is put down as a puppy, the second is from a puppy mill, and was left in a hot car unwittingly, and the fourth(?) dog is purchased by a socially awkward black woman who eats her feelings, and feeds the dog junk as well. In the dog's final life, he is purchased by a young woman who lives in a run-down home. Her druggie boyfriend insists that the dog stay in a yard on a chain, and while she grudgingly consents, it breaks her heart. I feel like the movie promoted awareness for other people's situations, e.g., just because someone has a dog on a chain doesn't mean they don't love the dog. Every time the dog died he was calm, and wondered why his people were so worked up, which is a positive way of looking at it. The movie had a very satisfying, heart-warming ending. In conclusion, I found it to be well-written and intensely bittersweet. I believe it's fine for older kids, once they can understand mature themes such as alcoholism, euthanasia, depression, and attempted murder. Use discretion, however - if a child has lost a pet, this may bring back unhappy memories. I would watch this film again.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness