Let me start by saying I liked this movie. Was I mislead from what I thought the movie was going to be about?
That would be a BIG Yes.
I expected to laugh a lot more and not cry. All the movie trailers portrayed this as a family comedy. Not a wacky Beethoven movie but a family comedy. What I saw was a bittersweet tale about a family and their dog.
Talk about false advertising! And I was not the only one to fall for it. I was surrounded by families with little kids and we were ALL crying together. Jeff actually dubbed the movie, "this generation’s Bambi." You have been warned.
The movie is about a much loved but poorly trained Labrador retriever (I can’t throw stones. My family and friends will attest to our wild dachshunds. (Get it dancing hotdogs!)). Who helps a couple and their growing family experience life.
I related to this movie a lot. I am a huge dog lover but was never allowed to have a dog until I married Eddy and we got our first dachshund, Gabor. So we had very similar experiences to the Grogans (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston). Similar to Marley, Gabor does not like thunderstorms and they both are undisciplined and kind of wild, but wrangling a 11 pound dog as compared to a 100 plus pound dog is two totally different stories.
The Jennifer Aniston character also hits a little close to home. When I first graduated college I had a list of milestones similar to her life list of a job, marriage, house and babies.
But life, as in the movie, has other ideas.
Yes, I got the job, marriage, house and baby but some things didn’t go according to plan and that is exactly what Marley the dog helps this couple realize.
You get the opportunity to have your dream job but you can’t take it because of family obligations. but you understand with time your family is that dream opportunity (this is what happens in the movie). This movie’s underlining moral without being preachy is APPRECIATE LIFE and what you have including all the good and the bad.
I never read the book but the film was well written and had some funny moments. Like when Marley tries to make a run for it when he is being driven to the Vet’s for his neutering surgery. Or his very personal experience with Kathleen Turner during his first and only training class.
Aniston and Wilson do solid performances, but remember this is not a comedy, simply an autobiography about the Grogan family and their life with Marley.
Finally, one little tidbit I found interesting was watching the couple raise their children. For those of you un-initiated (meaning those of you without a baby), it is definitely true for Moms to wake up at the first stirring of the baby and Dads to snore away through the most outrageously loud cries.
McSteamy from "Grey’s Anatomy" (Eric Dane) and Alan Arkin from Little Miss Sunshine provide more comic relief.
If you want to see a bittersweet movie about a family and their beloved dog, go see " Marley and Me" but bring the tissues and be prepared to feel a little down at the end, but take the lesson to heart and value everyone in your life.