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Marley & Me movie poster

Marley & Me

Genre: Comedy-Drama
Rated: PG
Directed by:
David Frankel
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner, Alan Arkin
Released by: 20th Century Fox

In Short: John Grogan's best-selling memoir about his family's unruly yellow Labrador named Marley becomes a family-friendly flick that will make the Dog Whisperer scream in agony.
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One Truly Terrible Dog
John Grogan’s Memoir Chews Its Way Onto the Silver Screen

For anyone that believes that a dog should be trained to behave, Marley and Me is a painful movie to watch. The Dog Whisperer, for example, will be appalled by this movie! For everyone else, this real-life tale of a journalist, his wife, their kids, and the yellow Labrador that wreaks havoc on their world for a decade is a heartwarming, funny, and ultimately tear-jerking look at how a dog, no matter his faults, becomes an integral part of a family.

Owen Wilson takes the title role of John Grogan, who becomes a newspaper columnist at a Florida paper as the film begins, while at the same time marrying Jenny, a fellow journalist (played by Jennifer Aniston). They adopt a cute puppy named Marley and insanity immediately ensues as the dog devours furniture, tears up the yard, and gets into some sort of other extreme trouble just about every day of his life.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in Marley & Me The star of Marley & Me

Sure, the Grogans try to train him, but Marley has his own plan, and being a well-behaved dog is not a part of his life scenario. But becoming famous turns out to be his destiny, as Grogan begins to chronicle Marley’s exploits in his column and creates a legion of Marley fans.

As the film progresses, the Grogans end up having three children, who naturally love the dog, no matter that he sometimes chews up their favorite toys; after all, this is the same dog who will let them climb all over him and will play with them until they can play no more. It's your basic feel-good family story, well-told and believably acted.

But for those with a sensitive constitution, or who have children that are easily upset, be warned that Marley and Me trades comedy for drama by the end of the film, and could cause movie trauma in the tradition of Old Yeller.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters


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