I am boycotting A Dog’s Purpose.
This weekend, I will not be taking my four-year-old son to this ostensible family movie. I am basing my decision not on the disturbing video that surfaced last week of a dog apparently being forced to perform a stunt in rushing water. The video is awful, and if you’re boycotting this movie based on that, I support you 100 percent.
However, I am avoiding A Dog’s Purpose based on the trailer.
If you haven’t seen it: There’s a cute kid and an adorable dog. The dog eats garbage. The dog eats a coin. The dog attempts to poop out a coin. So far, so good — totally a movie I would normally get behind. Then, about halfway into the trailer, it’s implied that the dog dies.
That’s it — I’m out.
When it comes to movies, I’ll watch pretty much anything. Graphic violence? Whatever! Since the age of 11, I’ve probably seen 1.2 million people murdered on screen. Graphic sex? Sure! I saw Last Tango in Paris as a teenager and I don’t think it messed me up too bad. Super depressing movies about death, addiction, prolonged illness, or profound personal alienation? Sign me up! I have a closet full of DVDs about those very subjects.
But a movie in which a dog dies? No. Hell no! HOW DARE YOU!!!
I don’t ever, ever want to see a movie in which a dog dies, or even entertains the possibility that a dog can die. As far as I’m concerned, my 10-year-old pug Lu is going to live forever, and I don’t need some manipulative filmmaker who’s trying to elicit cheap emotions by putting God’s gift to mankind in danger to tell me otherwise.
Now, I understand that the premise of A Dog’s Purpose is that the dog is reincarnated over and over, which ought to lessen the impact of the dog’s death. Maybe it does — I have no idea, because I haven’t seen the movie and I never will. However, doesn’t that mean that the dog just dies continually during the duration of A Dog’s Purpose? Is this movie basically Groundhog’s Day starring a dead dog?
Never mind, I don’t care. I will never watch A Dog’s Purpose.
There are lots of movies that I hear are good that I will never see because I hear a dog dies at some point: Old Yeller, Marley & Me, My Dog Skip, Year of the Dog, Red, Where the Red Fern Grows. I won’t even see a movie where the dog is a total a**hole and deserves to die, like Cujo, where the dog murders people, or White Dog, where the dog is a damn racist.
An a**hole dog is still a dog.