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>
For the montage, in which John lists things that he and the dog have done, all scenes were shot in very few takes. For the shot in which the dog digs near the plant, it was trained to dig, and a hole was pre-dug and partly filled with loose soil. For the shot in which Marley gets a bath, actors used nontoxic dog shampoo and the dog was rinsed and dried thoroughly immediately afterward (it was all filmed in one take). When the dog chews on the leash, the leash was pre-cut and the dog was cued to "get it." When he walks in the rain, it was warm Miami rain and the dog was accustomed to it. When he jumps and "bites" the mailman's bag, the dog was cued to get it and shake it. When he "bites" the UPS boxes, the UPS worker was a costumed trainer who cued the dog to bite certain easy-to-grip spots on the boxes. When he destroyed the sand castles or bit the chair, he was cued to "dig" and to "get it." The baseball field scene was filmed during an actual baseball game. The dog was cued to run the stairs, which were not steep. Then, between innings, the actor was allowed to throw a ball to the dog, and the dog was cued to fetch it. The dog was unfazed by the noise and the crowd. See more »
When Grogan is walking along the street and his editor is advising him on buying a present for his recently pregnant wife, the cars in the background are a modern Mercedes and Toyota Camry. See more »
Written by Danny Osuna and Sara Traina
Performed by Tech-i-L.A.
Courtesy of LMS Records 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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