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61 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

I love my dog more now

Author: Lourdes Tolentino from Mazatlan, Mexico
21 January 2009

You know, minutes before going to the theater to see this movie I was getting dressed and my beagle was jumping all over me, biting me and I kept pushing her away. So I go to this movie and I just couldn't help it. I cried my eyes out. How true it is, that a dog doesn't care who you are, if you're rich or poor, if you're tall or short. He's always there for you. No matter what. And no matter how big the mess is, you'll still love him. It was great to see Owen Wilson playing a dramatic role. He did great in Behind Enemy Lines and he should play more roles like this. Jennifer Aniston was great too, she really delivered. Good film, funny and entertaining, excellent for the family. Don't forget to take your dog.

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49 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

Rushed home to my own doggies

Author: sharkey197 from United States
25 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This isn't just a film about a wild and untrained dog who does silly gags that we've seen before. This is a movie about the cycle of life and how life if often not what we expect. Through the introduction of the dog, Marley, we see how the characters grow and adapt and finally we see exactly how unimportant all those things we thought were so crucial really are.

I admit at the end I was stuffing my mouth with tissues to muffle the outright sobs for fear I would disturb the other patrons. It was a beautiful and realistic portrayal of what owning a pet means and how even at the end of a beloved pet's life, life can still triumph. I'm so glad they didn't fudge that scene. I don't have children, but it occurred to me it would be a wonderful film to teach children about death by allowing them to see the natural progression as Marley slowly closes his eyes while his master tells him 'You're a great dog." Then I came home and played a game of ball with my Irish Setter and gave extra cookies to my half lab who looked so much like Marley. He is very old now and will soon come to that point where he won't want to continue on. This film is a great comfort to people who must make that decision which is what every responsible pet owner must eventually do.

This was really a very fine film that wasn't just a fluff dog movie.

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38 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Film adaptation of John Grogan's bestselling memoir is a winner

27 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This heartwarming saga of the most incorrigible dog ever captured on film is excellent family entertainment, although parents should keep in mind very young children may be disturbed by the heartbreaking ending, which had grown men - myself included - sobbing out loud after laughing hysterically for 90 minutes. Jennifer Aniston is as charming as ever, and Owen Wilson manages to subdue his frequently snide and wise-alecky persona long enough to offer an outstanding performance. This isn't just the story of a dog with behavior problems; it's a charming portrait of a marriage as the couple navigates their way through life while dealing with tragedy, financial difficulties, and the joys and frustrations of parenthood, in addition to that very energetic and lovable yellow Lab.

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77 out of 140 people found the following review useful:

Best film of the holiday season

Author: RichardSRussell-1 from United States
26 December 2008

Short-attention-span synopsis: Best film of the holiday season.

Marley & Me (PG, 2:00) — 9

I felt bad having to deliver the news to my fellow fans about what a poor crop of SF&F films we have to pick from this holiday season, so let me make it up to you by giving a totally unqualified recommendation for Marley & Me! It's not science fiction. Heck, it's barely fiction at all, since it's drawn from the real-life experiences of newspaper columnist John Grogan, his wife Jen, their kids, and their yellow labrador retriever, Marley, "the worst dog in the world".

I do some database work for the Wisconsin Academy of Graduate Service Dogs, and I have to say that Marley would have washed out of the academy in 15 minutes. He'd be a terrible service dog, but he makes a wonderful friend.

This film is utterly realistic. It never strikes a forced or false note. There are lots of laffs, but they all arise organically out of real life. John and Jen are good, decent people (like virtually all Americans), and they behave naturally, without any visible "acting". It's a little slice of Americana. If a big-budget spectacular like Benjamin Button had been able to muster a quarter of the heart of this modest film, they'd already be rolling Oscar's red carpet up to its front door.

"I'd like to be the man my dog thinks I am." -- Mike McGuire, songwriter

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19 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Not what I expected...

Author: Rakerizah from United States
26 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After Christmas Dinner last night, my family members decided that it would be a good idea to go see this movie. A few of them had read the book and loved it. Feeling obligated to family, I of course went to go see it with them. However, my expectations for it were fairly low to be honest. I'm not a big fan of Jennifer Aniston's work and while funny, I feel that Owen Wilson is only capable of playing himself in the movie roles he's taken on. The same could probably be said for Jennifer Aniston to a degree as well.

I was absolutely enthralled with this film though. As I'm sure most current and former dog owners were. The script was very solid and well structured to involve all the characters in Marley's life as an important part of it. The realistic connections made between the character's made the joy, comedy, frustrations, and even sadness demonstrated in this story very significant and personal. The story of Marley and his life with his family could not have been told any better. I would say my favorite scene in this movie was when Marley was let off his leash at the doggie beach, so he could run out to swim in the ocean.

This movie gives a completely realistic portrayal of just how much love and joy a pet can bring to your life, and how significant "Man's Best Friend" values their relationships with their owners. I would recommend this movie to all but with a stern warning that this movie will pull at your heart strings very hard with it's realistic depiction of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Very few movies I've watched in my life have connected with me on a personal level strong enough to actually bring tears to my eyes. This movie however had my face covered with streams.

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21 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Superficial and emotionally simple daytime TV stuff is still that even when loaded with stars and put in a cinema

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 June 2009

There seems to be a consensus of opinion here that, if you dislike this film it is simply because you're not a dog person and therefore you'll not "get" this film. For the record I don't have a dog but did grow up with a dog and like them (while also liking cats). What I don't have is a willingness to access my own emotions and memories in order to use them to make up for the inadequacy of the film – which, with all due respect, a lot of people seem to be doing when they talk about why they love the film. So I understand what it is to have a dog as a companion, to have the good and the bad and to have that be an emotional part of one's live. The problem I have with the film is that I'm not convinced the people who make the film do – or rather I'm not convinced they know how to put that into a script and then put it on the screen.

I say this because the narrative here is a really simple story of a family – and there is nothing wrong with that, it is about life rather than a specific set of events that lead to one another on the way to a dramatic conclusion. However without an engaging and convincing heart to the film then this just comes over like a superficial scenario put together with "music video" moments and no depth or complexity to the lives on which the film relies. To help with the emotion we have lots of "safe accessible" pop songs used in the soundtrack – something that says "packaging" and "market targeting" more than it does "film making"; of course any scene with emotion is loaded with manipulative music to draw the emotion – and, if you're into it then perhaps it will work but it is hard to avoid just how superficial it is.

The casting confirms this as the beautiful blonde leads are both bland as sin and do not convince as characters or as a couple. It doesn't help that the film doesn't even attempt to age them physically and that the script does little to age their spirits. Wilson does his usual stuff but, without the comedy that usually makes his personae works, he is quite poor and he cannot do the emotions that the basic events of his character's life ask him to deliver. Aniston is just as weak and is badly cast – her figure and looks working against her while she tries to use her words only to convince us that she is a mother of three and going through real challenges. The dog itself is good at being cute but personally I struggled to really see what it was they loved in it – probably because the script only gives me comedy events rather than a family with the dog at the heart of it.

Marley & Me will get better with time – not because history will judge it well but rather because it will move out of cinemas, onto DVD and eventually reach its true home on Wednesday afternoons on a network like Hallmark. For those that love those daytime movies then you should like this but for the majority of viewers this will be far too superficial and bland to really impact.

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23 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Quick Review

Author: sloblock from Fylde
28 March 2009

Virtually no character development, no story and strangest of all, not about a dog.

What should be key elements of the film seem like incidentals. Life changing moments are just odd lines or chance meetings. there is no depth to the story or any characters in it. What is play as a central theme (or as close as it gets to one) is the usual 'I have given up my chance to be someone, do something, but I wont because I love you'. Frankly, you wont even care, because if you blink once or twice and miss a couple of lines, then you wont even notice this angle in the film.

Ironically, the dog seems like an incidental. Apart from showing it cant walk on a lead, it only has 3 scenes at the end of the film which appear to have been thrown in at the last minute.

The whole film smacks of a post production review meeting where they realised what a boring film they had made and asked for more 'dog moments'. Unfortunately it appears they forgot about the dog 'sub-plot' during filming. As a result the movie is neither one thing or another. Complete boring mess.

I feel cheated out of the cost of cinema tickets and the two hours wasted watching it... and I love and have always owned dogs.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Memories of Old Yeller

Author: the-ppfitzgeralds from Ireland
24 September 2009

Wild horses couldn't have dragged me to the theaters to see this movie but I couldn't say no to my nieces and they are the ones that selected the DVD. What a surprise and how dangerous to pre-judge. "Marley and Me" has, at least, 4 or 5 elements that put it way above other movies of its kind. It reminded me (without being similar) to a favorite of my own childhood "Old Yeller" and that alone placed me on a very special frame of mind. Jennifer Aniston surprised me. Her performance feels and sounds truthful and thoughtful. The mother of three who left behind a promising career to dedicate herself fully to her family, reeks of a familiar kind of pathology that Aniston takes all the way without allowing the acting get in the way. I believed her and that makes things work on all levels. Then, Alan Arkin, he creates a fully fledged character out of a clichè. He's wonderful. And Marley? The series of extraordinary dogs who played the arch of this unconventional creature, is a triumph of sorts. Some of the music and Marley running I could have done without and I must confess I wouldn't have cast Owen Wilson but that's just too small a problem to spoil the surprise this movie provides. Kathleen Turner plays a cameo as a dog instructor that provoked a gasp in the audience. She's closer to Shirley Stoler in "Seven Beauties" than to Geena Davis in "The Accidental Turist" Use your kids as an excuse to see Marley. It works.

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

He'll steal your heart and probably chew it up too

Author: alp1981 from Canada
25 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's not too often that I break down and sob in a movie theater like I did with Marley & Me but this is no ordinary film. Sure, this isn't a movie for the jaded film goers amongst us who are looking for layers and substance filled substance to dissect and interpret. Instead it's a formulaic family flick made by dog owners for other dog owners. It's also a love letter to our best friends who are the only ones in our lives to see us at our highest and our lowest and who love us no matter what.

The film captured the way a dog can steal your heart and how they truly are a member of the family and it pulls all the right heart strings at all the right moments. But is it a good film? Dog lovers will be captivated by the experience and have their hearts broken in the last 20 minutes while everyone else will probably just see a mediocre date movie with a cute puppy and routine performance from Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Being amongst the former audience, I couldn't help but fall in love with the movie and I couldn't wait to get in my car and rush home to see my dogs.

The dog lover in me gives this a 10/10 while the movie buff in me gives this a 6/10 so overall I guess that's about an 8/10.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Bring tissues... and I'm talking to you guys mostly

Author: drea_me_3000 from United States
25 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love Owen Wilson, this movie validated why. I wasn't a big Jennifer Aniston fan... this movie changed my mind.

These two actors perfectly conveyed every emotion the audience was suppose to feel with them.

When they laughed, we laughed harder, when they cried, the theater flooded.

this is the timeless tale of how lives can be touched by an animal, that the unconditional love they give makes everything worth all they can sometimes put you through, and that they will change your life for the better, just for having known them.

I'd have to say, while there was not a single dry eye in the theater... the guys were wailing the most. one guy was walking out and he said, "That was my Benny. Tell me that wasn't Benny up there. That was a damn good dog." Even this teenaged boy sitting to my right was trying to wipe away tears by pretending he was itching his eye.

This isn't just your typical pet story... this is more about the people that are in Marley's life, and how he affects their lives little by little, leaving a lasting impression. Their hearts were so much bigger for having known Marley.

I don't think there was a single person who didn't leave sniffling if not down right bawling. Just be prepared for that.

this is more than a holiday feel good movie... the book was more than a collection of silly stories about a dog.

Its about love, all the good, and the bad moments in our lives that are healed by love. In this case, the unconditional love of a pet.

On a plus side... fans of the Marley and Me book can rest happy knowing that, minus very minor changes, this holds true to the book.

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