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After reading some of the outlandish bad reviews, I had to comment on
this film. I know people's perceptions differ, but some of the bad
reviews are so exaggerated and are, lack of a better word, incorrect! I
was hesitant about going to see just another generic man and dog film.
It was my girlfriend's idea, and I figured it would be another corny
chick flick about how a couple get a dog and how it brings them
together. After I began watching, it grabbed my attention and never let
go! I don't think my review of this film will be able to capture the
true essence and emotions this film captures, but here goes: The film
was very gripping in its realistic portrayal of the development of a
family and their pet from the couple's wedding until the film's end
approximately 40 years into their lives. I think for most people, the
couple's relationship and even a troublesome pet will seem
familiar(imperfect, but yet believable). The movie isn't solely about
the dog, but how the dog is a bit of a nuisance at first, but matures
along with the family. Giving many more details may ruin the story, so
I'll hit some of the points that need attention.
Some people argue that this film lacks comedy, but it's subtle comedy(the type real life offers...nothing exaggerated and unbelievable...like too many Seth Rogan films). Owen Wilson is more toned down, but he adds his spin to a more down-to-earth role as a husband that chooses his life as a husband over the dream life he had pictured. Aniston delivers one of her best performances, in my opinion. I'm not a big fan of her acting, but she gives an undeniably good performance as Wilson's adoring wife.
Regarding the "nudity" and "sex", yes they hint at having sex, but nothing is shown nor sounds like sex. There is NO NUDITY!!! There is a shot of Aniston's naked BACK(not her backside, her back). All of the film's sexual innuendos are while they are married! If anything I think this sends a positive message to younger viewers that this is the way it's supposed to be...fun isn't over after marriage and in some cases, it's when the real adventure begins. Children these days have seen worse than this film shows on network TV and MTV. I didn't hear any bad language that isn't on TV already. It wasn't what most people consider the worst words. And lastly, the sad part of the film is realistic not morbid, murder, or uncalled for...sometimes I think people are so used to films like The Dark Knight that when they see a wholesome, realistic film they're disappointed because they're wanting something epic.
Give this film and chance and realize going into it that it's not the mindless, idealistic comedy that Hollywood has stuffed down our throats lately. It's heart-warming, wholesome, and true to life.
When I first saw the previews for Marley and Me, I thought, ugh,
another desperate attempt by Jennifer Aniston to resuscitate her
career. I used to be a huge Aniston fan back in the "Friends" days, but
it's been years since I've seen any of her movies. And as for Owen
Wilson, he always seemed like a goof who rode on the wave of his older
brother's success. This movie proved me wrong on both counts.
Marley and Me is about a dog, definitely, but it's just as much about a man (John Grogan, played by Wilson), his wife (Jenny, played by Aniston), and his growing family. The film follows John from his wedding night to the peak of his journalism career a dozen years later, years that are chronicled in his weekly columns for a Florida newspaper. Marley, the lovable but horribly destructive yellow lab, enters his life as a puppy, in an attempt to prepare him and his wife for future children. The dog, as expected, tears apart the house, makes wild escapes, humps the dog trainer, and lovably terrorizes other people. But the film effectively intersperses those episodes with tender, sincere moments of human/dog bonding. Marley is there to comfort Jenny when her husband cannot, adjusts to the children as they grow older, and intrudes on the family's most private moments. He is a constant, and at times, annoying presence, but Marley underscores the emotional tone of the film without dominating it.
Similarly, both Wilson and Aniston deliver understated performances that convey the ups-and-downs of any marriage. While it is the bond between John and Marley that the film explores most deeply, Jenny provides the link between dog, family, and children. In the end, she realizes what Marley has become, and what he has always been, to the two of them. The film's overall tone - light, humorous, but at times very real - builds up to an ending that is surprisingly moving.
Marley and Me is a tender-hearted, easy-going film that will appeal to any dog-lover. But it will also, I think, appeal to anyone who can look back on his or her life and trace a common thread through each passing year. A beloved pet, like Marley, has that unique capability. I wish I could thank my own dog for that. But, as one of the children in the movie tearfully says, I'm sure he already knows.
Every year I go to see a movie on Christmas Day. It's been a tradition
since high school. This year's Christmas movie was "Marley & Me". I was
more excited by the fact that it was something that everyone could go
and see; including my mom, who doesn't venture out to the theater very
often. Anyway, I was happy that she and my girlfriend were excited to
As I am sure many posters will repeat this phrase, if you've ever been a dog owner, this movie really rings true. The movie itself is very simple; it chronicles the growth of a couple and the impact their pet Labrador has on their family throughout their life.
It is really the simplicity that makes the story work so well. This isn't "Old Yeller" or "Lassie", though some elements are there. This isn't a dog movie focused on the relationship of the canine and a kid (a la "My Dog Skip"). This is a true depiction of what it is like for most people to get a puppy early in their relationship and how it can develop into them becoming a member of the family.
There aren't many people in the cast. Jennifer Aniston really does the best job in the picture. I'm a fan of Owen Wilson (I know many aren't), and it was nice to see a serious side since we really hadn't seen one since "Behind Enemy Lines". He did a good job, but he really would've sold me if he had shed some full on tears when it was required. But he was very believable nonetheless.
The film really humanizes the characters and their relationship with Marley with such realism. I haven't had a chance to read the book, but I have a feeling the movie captured the essence of the story.
I have been a dog owner my entire life. I had 5 from childhood through college and have experienced the beginning act of the movie having purchased a puppy with my girlfriend 2 years ago. He is now a 2 yr old member of our family, and we would be devastated if we ever lost him. Most can relate to the experience of being a pet owner, and even if you can't, there are messages here you can still connect with. I definitely recommend this for ANYBODY, but try to take the family. If you never wanted a pet before, I challenge you to not change your mind after viewing this. And yes, men, women and children alike were sobbing by the end
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Adapted from John Grogan's debut bestselling book, Marley & Me is a
painfully realistic portrayal of life and death as seen through the
relationship of a young writer "John Grogan" (Owen Wilson) and his
loyal Labrador retriever companion Marley.
Shortly after the honeymoon phase has passed, John and Jennifer Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) decide to fill a void in their lives, or so they think. However, life derails their plains. To help fill the void, John and Jennifer decide to start their family with a cute and energetic puppy named Marley. The mischievous Marley chronicles the life, career and marriage of John Grogan.
The dynamics of the relationship between John and Jennifer is also remarkable. Had Marley not been such an integral part of the Grogan family; their relationship may not have survived. Sebastian (Eric Dane), John Grogan's best human friend, is the classical antithesis and a reminder of the freedoms of bachelorhood. Not until the chance encounter with Sebastian in Philadelphia, do we see the completeness John has in his life with Jennifer, the kids and Marley.
A simple story coupled with a superb cast, make Marley & Me a must see. Wilson's portrayal of Grogan is a welcome change from the often silly and one dimensional characters Wilson has become known for. Equally compelling is the character Jennifer Grogan (Jennifer Aniston). At times, it is often indistinguishable between the character Jennifer Grogan and the person Jennifer Aniston. It was almost as if Jennifer Aniston threw down the script and put her own life on screen as Jennifer Grogan.
While the story and acting are superb, Marley & Me is not the feel good Christmas cheer me up movie of the year. Not a dry eye in the theater for those old enough to have endured the sad reality of outliving a beloved pet. Imagine the heartache of Old Yeller multiplied by 10. An excellent movie for pet lovers, newlywed couples and those searching for the meaning of life.
"Marley and Me", for what it's worth, is a true family film. The first
half, with cute puppies and slap stick humor, will probably draw in the
younger audiences, while the last half, a surprisingly substance filled
story of a marriage growing past its prime, will appeal to the parents.
The inevitable last bit will hit it home for everyone. Even teenagers.
I know because I am one. That really is a 'family' film.
On a different note, what I was really impressed with in this film is Owen Wilson. I have never been too impressed with his work, he's tolerable, but that's about it. In this, however, he had a very heartfelt performance for what he was given. The last few scenes were among his most impressive work ever.
Give Marley and Me a try, if you're out with the whole family.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
...bring a box of tissues, because those who have loved and eventually
had to make the painful decision of letting our best friends go this
movie will touch a nerve, and remind us all why we love our pets.
The plot of the movie is actually a very basic one. Journalist John Grogan gets his wife a puppy to take his wife's mind off kids, and their lives are never the same for it. We watch Marley grow into a ninety pound, underwear stealing, jewelry eating, drywall chewing wrecking ball, but we also see his unconditional love for his family, through the good times and the bad. And in we end, we see the inevitable end of Marley's long life and his family's loss at having to let him go.
There are many funny moments in this movie, but this is by no means a Beethoven knockoff canine-comedy. This is a story of life, and a story of love in spite of difficulty, and this is the story that many people have shared as they have watched a beloved pet grow old and die.
This movie was not just about Marley; this movie was about my neighbors lab Rex who died of cancer, my grandparent's dog Sooner who my last memories were of him struggling up the stairs with arthritis in both hips, and of my best childhood friend Skipper who tragically lost his life to an automobile.
The insensitive will see this as a cute movie but nothing more. The rest of us will need some time to regain our composure before we attempt to drive home. Once you get home, take your dog for a walk, throw a few balls, and tell them what good dogs they are. You'll definitely regret it if you don't.
I read John Grogan's book on Xmas Day 2007 & saw this film today in
Australia on New Years Day '09. I have to say they have turned this
heartwarming & funny story into a great movie. The casting was right &
Owen Wilson & Jennifer Anniston perfect in the roles of John & Jenny
Grogan. I grew up as a teenager with a Golden Labrador in the family we
all adored & in my early married life with a badly behaved Lassie
Collie dog which had to be put down 13 years later. I could really
relate to this family's experiences with their pooch & the sometimes
angst it caused them. Our Collie chewed everything in sight & also
managed to run straight through a plate glass door, jumped out of the
car window and broke a bone in his foot... so many experiences similar
to this film/book. And at the end of our pooch's life my (by then
ex-husband) cried like a baby when we had to have our dog put down.
This film shows the whole life of Marley & how he was loved and at times despaired of and at the end the most cherished part of this family. Yes I cried at the end & I thought it beautifully done but I also was crying for the dog I miss so much now. I would just like the film to have rounded off the story & shown that Marley got a book published about him & that they next got a docile dog who was never going to make it to the press as he was in fact the model dog they thought they were getting with Marley. Lovely film & such a nice change from some of the garbage that's in the theatres these days.
I read Marley & Me several years ago and was happy to see a movie was
coming out. The initial critic's reviews I read made it sound like a
weak movie. They were wrong.
Marley & Me does a great job of telling the story of the Grogan family. Yes, the main character is Marley, but Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are great in their roles. Marley's antics are hilarious and we get to see the family evolve throughout the movie. I think the writers and directors did a great job in telling this story.
All in all, an enjoyable movie with plenty of laughs and plenty of tears. My daughter and I both enjoyed it a lot. I plan on seeing Marley & Me again in the theater with my husband and I'm sure we'll watch it again on video.
Enjoy this movie!
Wonderful movie about life as the characters played by Jennifer
Anniston and Owen Wilson get married and start their life together with
the "most stupidest dog in the world". Lots of laughs in this movie but
also as the story unfolds with the Grogan's careers and family they all
love their dog "Marley".
This can be quite the tear jerker however I found the movie to be quite heart warming and very beautiful. We watch as the family grows and how their silly dog is a very important part of the family. Anyone who has had a dog can relate the movie moves along at a nice pace. Both Anniston and Wilson did very well here especially Wilson as we get to see him acting a serious part and doing it so well.
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