Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Marley & Me

Title: Marley & Me (2008)
Genre: Comedy
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.


  1. I do love comedy. I'll be adding this to my Netflix queue.

  2. I've got to see this one! I think my son, who is a dog lover, would love this.

  3. I love this movie, but I don't like to see the dog dies at the end :(

  4. I've seen comercials or advertisements of this movie, i find the dog funny though. Now that i found the ending here, maybe I don't have to watch it. reading your post is like watching it hehe

  5. It is the mention of a box of tissues that worries me. My younger daughter cries at most movies so I can only imagine her reaction at a movie that recommends a box of tissues.

  6. I have been wanting to see this movie - thanks for the review!!

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  8. Love this movie, though I've not watched the very last part, I can imagine how it ends. My husband and I went through almost the identical thing with our beloved dog Sam. That's the reason I couldn't watch the whole thing.Too close to home, very sweet though.

  9. I enjoy comedy and love both Owen Wilson and Jennifer so I may just see the movie. I haven't seen it yet so I'm looking forward to it.

  10. This was a great family movie. My boys found Marley to be really funny! We all enjoyed this movie, but when Marley passed was all so sad. I knew it was coming, but I didn't expect them to show it so drastically from the vet table to the grave was a bit much.

  11. oooh.. this movie made me cry a lot. it's so sad, but the dog is so cute and funny!