Vada Sultenfuss is obsessed with death. Her mother is dead, and her father runs a funeral parlor. She is also in love with her English teacher, and joins a poetry class over the summer just... See full summary »
Jamie Lee Curtis,
Vada Sultenfuss has a holiday coming up, and an assignment: to do an essay on someone she admires and has never met. She decides she wants to do an assignment on her mother, but quickly ... See full summary »
Jamie Lee Curtis,
After their wedding, newspaper writers John and Jennifer Grogan move to Florida. In an attempt to stall Jennifer's "biological clock", John gives her a puppy. While the puppy Marley grows into a 100 pound dog, he loses none of his puppy energy or rambunctiousness. Meanwhile, Marley gains no self-discipline. Marley's antics give John rich material for his newspaper column. As the Grogans mature and have children of their own, Marley continues to test everyone's patience by acting like the world's most impulsive dog. Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
Beach scenes apparently set in Briny Breezes, an area nicknamed "Dog Beach" by locals for its friendliness to the canine set. Palm Beach County Commissioners banned dogs from the beach, for reasons self-evident in the last beach scene. See more »
When dropping Jennifer off at the airport, they're in a rusty red Toyota Tercel, but while driving home with the dog, John is driving a Honda Accord. See more »
"Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)"
Written by Herbie Hancock (as Herbert Hancock), Rahsaan Hakeem Kelly, Melvyn Simpson, and Geoffrey Wilkinson
Performed by Us3 (as US3) featuring Rahsaan and Gerard Presencer
Courtesy of Blue Note Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music See more »
Charming, thoughtful - probably not what you'd expect
Though I wasn't quite sure what to expect with "Marley and Me", I admit I basically expected it to be a slightly goofy slapstick type comedy centered around a high-strung pooch. I was thinking "Beethoven" just replace the St. Bernard with a Labrador.
With "A-list" players like Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson involved, however, I should have known better.
This is an actual movie - a real story about real life and the dog that runs through it (literally and figuratively).
The basic story follows Wilson and Aniston as journalists who embark upon their lives as a married couple. Marley comes early on as the puppy no one wants and the marginally insane high-strung pooch who appears throughout to be virtually untrainable (don't tell that to that "It's Me or the Dog" gal). Shredding cushions, destroying floors and walls and most everything in between seems to never quite drive them completely mad. Instead of taking him to the pound they soldier through and love their dog and of course he faithfully loves them in return. Like a child, a pet is not someone you just give up on because they are hard to take care of.
Children - three, ultimately - come into their lives and John's (Wilson) career continues to advance as he carves a niche as a local columnist. They ultimately move from Florida to Pennsylvania. Even as the marriage has its ups and downs, as Jen (Aniston, sans a character name change) gives up her career to be a mom, as kids are born and grow older, as John struggles with his own career direction Marley remains the constant, always a little crazy, always infusing his peculiar personality into the family dynamic.
This is a "family movie" in the truest sense - that is, that it is about family, about the reality of being a father, a husband, a wife, a mother, and the obligations and dreams and ambitions we have and often let go for the sake of the greater purpose of raising our children. It is about uncomfortable and often painful sacrifices of our own vision of the future for ourselves and our family. It is about what we give up to ultimately gain far more.
Marley in his own way represents that sacrifice - a pet probably not many would take on and keep and engenders a huge challenge to persist in loving and caring for. Therein is a lesson in how to raise kids and how to love each other even when we don't much feel like it.
For all its fine, thoughtful, and charming qualities "Marley and Me" is not 100% a family movie - there's some swearing (not much - perhaps 5 or 6 times, all relatively tame) and some sexual innuendo but nothing overt. In the end I think it finds a pretty reasonable balance between trying to be a movie that appeals to adults and yet it doesn't kowtow to children either. The dialog and the acting are excellent (Jennifer Aniston is especially good) and whatever Owen does is understated and funny yet he also does serious when he needs to.
In any case this is a fine movie that most adults will enjoy for a real character-driven "dramedy" (mostly drama, less comedy) and kids say 7 and older will be able to catch most of the finer elements of the script.
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