A Dog’s Purpose
The soul of a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) is reincarnated over and over, until he winds up with the teenager he was once devoted to (K.J. Apa), who has now grown up to be Dennis Quaid. Through all these lives—male, female, cuddly basenji, police German shepherd—Gad’s voice-over narration bounces from butt-sniffing jokes to ruminations on the meaning of life (as reflected in the movie’s title); ultimately, it seems, this dog’s purpose is to bring two high-school sweethearts back together in their declining years (the girl starts out as Britt Robertson and ends up as Peggy Lipton). Directed by Lasse Halström and adapted from W. Bruce Campbell’s novel by more writers than I have space to name, the movie is enjoyable enough, though how it came to theaters instead of the Hallmark Channel is a mystery. J.L.