Wednesday, June 5, 2019


As a family, we do enjoy watching movies together.  A few years ago my son started Family Movie Night on Friday evenings.  When I had the chance to review Life With Dog from Mill Creek Entertainment I decided to give it a try.  It sounded like it was a faith-based movie from what my research showed so I was glad to get to try it.  It has the Dove Family seal of approval for ages 12+. Mill Creek Entertainment is a division of the Bridgestone Multimedia group who are committed to providing wholesome family movies.  I received a physical DVD copy of the movie that included a key code for digital streaming access.  We watched the physical copy of this Christian movie as a family (Dad, mom, and 15-year-old son--Little Bug was in bed).

The movie is 106 minutes long.  The 12+ rating is appropriate as I do not feel this is a family movie for younger children due to the content (guns involved) and complex themes.  It is different than what you might expect, but I felt it had deep meaning.  I really like Corbin Bernsen and was surprised to find out that he was not only the lead character, Joe, but that he created and directed the film!  It was also enjoyable to see Marilu Henner as his wife, Alice.  The themes that I found so important in this movie include hope, faith, forgiveness, and redemption.  Joe loses his wife, Alice, in a tragic bike accident.  He struggles through most of the movie trying to come to terms with her death and why God would be so cruel to take her away from him.  It is made clear that she was a practicing Christian and he was not.  She continually "visits" with him throughout the movie and it allows us to see how she knew he was a work in progress and that her hopes were that he would someday be reconciled to God.

The story opens with Joe being visited by his daughter, Zoey.  We see right away that something is amiss when he interprets her knocking at his door as the company that is out to get him (so he thinks) and take his house away from him.  It becomes apparent that he is convinced that the construction company killed his wife in order to get the house from him.  Joe allows his emotions to get the better of him and makes several bad decisions including pulling a gun on a guy from the company that wants to buy his house and later when he again pulls his gun on the man guilty of killing his wife.

Early on in the story, his daughter Zoey convinces him to talk to the Pastor, Frank.  It doesn't go well and Joe is convinced there is a conspiracy there too.  Soon, Dog enters the scene.  "Dog" is a stray dog that appears out of nowhere and throughout the story, he ends up being the impetus for Joe's salvation and redemption.  Joe shares his thoughts with Dog and it ends up helping him to work through a lot of his struggles.  He reasons with Dog and though Dog, of course, does not talk, it allows Joe to process his thoughts and feelings.  Joe finds forgiveness in the end and realizes how poisoned he was through his bitterness and unforgiveness of the loss of his son and now his wife in his life.

I won't ruin the end of the movie when you find out the truth about Dog.  You'll just have to watch it for yourself.  I also urge you to pay close attention to what Joe asks his wife's killer about what he does for a living. I believe there was redemption in the end.  I saw a lot of bad reviews online of this movie but I disagree.  As a family, we all agreed it was a really good movie and recommend it.  I felt it was a well-written story and that the acting was just fine.  It was a good quality movie.  My 15-year-old son enjoyed it and understood the underlying meanings throughout the story.  He was glad for the positive ending and really liked how they used "Dog" to get Joe through a rough time in his life.  I felt that Joe's struggles were very realistic.  His deep love for his wife and her unconditional love for him showed the power of love and how it can break down walls and hardened hearts.  Joe had a very hard heart.  The unconditional love of his wife and Dog helped to pull him out of his pit of despair.

This movie was such a powerful picture of what bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness can do to a person.  It turns your world upside down and causes you to lose all hope.  The journey Joe took in coming to terms with everything and learning the power of forgiveness is such a powerful message in this story.  Joe's animosity towards God and his reconciliation, in the end, opens up the opportunity for lots of family discussion.  What causes us to be bitter?  Why do we have such a hard time forgiving those who do us wrong?  Just how important is forgiveness?  Why does God stress unconditional love, what is that and how does it work in our lives?  Why do we need God?  The list can go on and on.

You can connect with Mill Creek Entertainment on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and YOUTUBELife With Dog is available now at Wal-Mart or online at Amazon.

If you want more information about this movie I suggest you take the time to check out the reviews from my fellow Crew members to see what they have to say about this movie.  Just click on the graphic link below to read more.

Life With Dog {Mill Creek Entertainment Reviews}
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