Marley & Me (2008)
Reviewed on 2009 May 7
I really enjoyed this movie, partly because I think we adopted one of Marley’s relatives. I didn’t get my first dog until 2003. I love our cats very much — one is in my lap “helping” me type at this moment — but I’d always wanted a dog. When I heard a co-worker needed a good home for a nine month old Lab/Springer mix, I coaxed my husband into at least looking at him. I paused when we came to her house that night and heard a huge bark. He was already half my body weight, and he wasn’t shy at all about running up to us and introducing himself by trying to crawl in our laps. When we saw how sweet he was, and that he was raised with a cat and knew they weren’t doggie snacks, we brought him home. And I never regretted it, even on the day I came home from work and saw he apparently decided to go digging for Jimmy Hoffa in our mattress.
John Grogan (Owen Wilson) and his wife Jenny (Jennifer Aniston) are newlyweds, enjoying their lives and crossing goals off Jennifer’s to-do list. John gets settled into writing a column for the Sun Sentinel and Jennifer’s career flourishes. When they consider adding to their family, they wade into it by getting a Golden Retriever puppy. Marley will be a contender for title of World’s Worst Dog, but of course nobody realizes that when he’s reaching up to give them kisses. The remainder of the movie is how Marley becomes an integral part of Grogan clan as the family grows and moves for career changes. He may chew the furniture and be banned from doggie obedience class, but he’s still their boy.
This follows John Grogan’s book pretty closely, and it’s for anyone who got suckered into taking home an adorable, five-pound, wet-nosed ball of fluff and still didn’t regret it (much) when the cute little thing morphed into something the size of a Clydesdale. The acting was good, with Aniston able to play a frayed, sleep-deprived new mom who can still be likable when she loses it with Marley one day. The trailers and other ads make you believe it’s a comedy, and there many funny bits — my favorite throwaway was the lounge version of “Lithium” playing as the Grogan family moved to posh Boca Raton — but it’s got more depth than that. It’s an example of how pets truly become members of the family. Have Kleenex® ready.
Three chocolate morsels.