Marley and Me


Reluctantly, I saw Marley and Me in the movie theater yesterday.  It’s not that it was a bad movie, but I didn’t want to see it in the theater because I knew it would be a tear-jerker since I read the book by John Grogan.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about the book since I read it a long time ago, and I do all of my book reading while I’m dozing off just before bed, which sometimes makes it difficult to remember what I’ve read.  But I know I really enjoyed the novel and recommended it to my family and friends.  The story is about a family who gets a puppy named Marley, and the novel follows his journey through life as the ‘world’s worst dog’.  But eventually, Marley charms his way into the hearts of his family, even helping them through life changes and tragedies.

From what I remember, I think the movie stays pretty close to the book, although I don’t necessarily agree with the casting choices of Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson as Marley’s masters.  I was a big fan of the tv show Friends, but every movie I’ve seen Jennifer Aniston in since seems like she’s still Rachel, her character from Friends.  She’s just not a very diverse actor in my book, which I also think she has in common with Owen Wilson.  But characters in this heartwarming family film were not very deep, so in the end the poor casting did little to sink the movie.  And you’ll notice that I crossed out family film.  Another thing that disappointed me was the PG rating Marley and Me received.  There are about 3 too many adult-themed scenes that I wouldn’t want my kids to see, and I’m really glad I previewed this film before I let them see it, which I usually do anyway.  This movie should NOT have received a PG rating, and it will make me more careful about making sure I preview everything before the kids view it, regardless of rating.

But overall, cute movie.  If you’re an animal lover or have ever owned a dog, prepare to cry.  Sorry if you consider that a spoiler, but it’s been all over the media and has dominated water cooler talk everywhere about how sad the movie and book are.  I’m sure you can guess what happens and you think you can prepare yourself, but you can’t.  I was a total wreck in the theater and have had a bit of a cloud over me ever since.  But don’t let that scare you away from seeing Marley and Me.  I think it just struck a chord in me because we own a dog who was once ‘The World’s Worst Dog’ and is now an old lady who has been a huge part of our family for over 10 years.  I probably would not watch this movie again, but only for lack of wanting to ride the emotional rollercoaster it provokes in its viewers.  The big screen version of Marley and Me was entertaining, and it made me definitely want to read the book again…  if only I had time for that.

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