Marley and Me
Marley and Me is cute, funny, chaotic and shamelessly manipulative.
It fetishizes dog ownership, marriage and parenthood and celebrates family
values at their most white bread, and yet it is mostly an enjoyable movie.
on the writings of former Philadelphia Inquirer writer John Grogan
about his life with "the world's worst dog," the movie covers over a decade
in the life of a young couple as they grow from unemployed newlyweds to
respected journalists and happy parents.
film starts as John and Jen Grogan move from snowy Michigan down to sunny
Florida, looking for jobs as reporters - which they find in separate papers.
Jen - the more rational, mature one of the two - takes off quickly while
John is stuck covering school board meetings and obituaries.
Jen's biological clock starts ticking, John decided to do a trial run by
adapting an adorable-but-rambunctious Labrador retriever. The high
spirited dog brings chaos into their orderly life - he eats everything from
sofa cushions to lingerie, howls whenever it rains, runs wild at the
slightest provocation and humps everything that moves.
who has ever had a pet knows what will happen, despite the fact that he is
"incorrigible" (the script's word, not mine) he will melt his owners' hearts
and quickly become an integral part of the family.
section of Marley and Me is actually mostly very enjoyable. The
usually smug and insufferable Owen Wilson does a pretty good job here as
John Grogan, his loose shaggy charm informing his character rather than
overwhelming it. Jennifer Aniston is terrific as his wife, but then
again she is always good as patient-but-supportive wives.
movie sort of downshifts as the Grogans start having children - causing
marital strife and professional turnover - but causing the movie to lose
track of its supposed calling card. Marley's misbehavior becomes less
and less significant, soon he is just another part of a busy and somewhat
out of control household. And, frankly, the Grogans' children are not
nearly as interesting as Marley.
suddenly, towards the end of the film it makes a sharp right turn into
tear-jerking pathos as Marley grows aged and infirm. Yes, I know that
is how life goes, but still there is a special place reserved in hell for
filmmakers who use the possibility of the death of children or small animals
to wring tears from their audiences.
for all the manipulation
is so cute and his relationship with his family so realistic that pet owners
will lap it up. Like the dog it is based on, Marley and Me is
sometimes chaotic, sometimes cutesy, sometimes too loud or rambunctious and
sometimes just plain bad, but does have lots
of energy and a good heart.
Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: March 14, 2009.