Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Title: Marley & Me (2008)
Rating: PG (for thematic material, some suggestive content and language)
Length of Time: 115 mins
What is it about?: Newlyweds, Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) and John Grogan (Owen Wilson), embark upon a new life together with dreams, aspirations, and apprehensions about their future. In order to postpone having children, John gets a puppy. Marley grows from a terribly undisciplined pup to a full-grown, equally undisciplined dog. The Grogan family grows also. They encounter up and downs and learn how to tackle their problems together.
During the turmoil, John writes about their experiences with Marley in a newspaper column. Although getting through their problems is not easy, Jennifer and John discover unconditional love, forgivenness, and tenacity from their beloved dog.
My Review: 4/5 Stars. Admittedly, comedy is not my favorite genre. You won't even see one listed on my "Top 10 Favorite Movies" list to the right. BUT I did enjoy this movie. Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are masters at comedic timing and it shows here. They are a joy to watch throughout the entire 115 mins.
Then, there's Marley. All the different dogs playing this character are absolutely adorable. Dog-lover or not, it's hard for one to watch and not feel love for Marley. Yes, he gets in to trouble. Yes, he's quite the responsibility. And yes, he's irreplaceable.
"Marley & Me" is narrated by Owen, which makes it a very personable love story between a new family and its dog. As the family finds balance between dreams and family, Marley continues to teach them about unconditional, timeless love. That's a great story, no matter who's teaching the lesson.
I saw myself in this movie, as I often do, not just because the Marley puppy reminded me of my dog, Butchy (from when I was little), or because the older Marley reminded me of my dog, Grizzly (from the not-to-distant past), but because I am a wife and mother with hopes and dreams of my own. Jennifer's characterization of a woman struggling to be fulfilled during each cycle of life ended more positively than Kate Winslet as April in "Revolutionary Road", but it was no less intense and identifiable.
My favorite lines from the movie:
Owen said, "Mend it. Don't end it."
Jennifer said, "I've given up so much of what made me who I am."--I know exactly how she feels!
Some may be excited to see "Grey's Anatomy" star, Eric Dane (Sebastian), as John's best friend. I personally thought his character was dull, immature, and superficial... I guess that was the point.
My Recommendation: I recommend you watch this, preferably with your family. You may want to steal a glance or two in their direction as you watch with a renewed sense of appreciation and love for them. I hope so anyway... then again, I may be asking for too much. Well, at the very least, I suspect you'll get more than you bargained for if you're looking for a few laughs because this is a mult-layered movie with meaning, as well as humor. Don't be fooled by the genre and think you will just laugh throughout. In fact, I recommend keeping a box of tissues nearby... Just saying.
Posted by Davida at 1:00 PM