Movie Notes: Marley And Me
= 3 stars
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Eric Dane
Directed by David Frankel
Journalist John Grogan (Owen Wilson) and wife Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) are the owners of Marley, a loveable but very naughty dog.
- Much of the bad dog stuff is pretty funny: Marley loves mangoes, gets into trouble playing on a special beach, and destroys a training session where a Ms. Kornblut (Kathleen Turner) explains Marley’s misbehavior through his self-image as an alpha dog.
- Gets to the heart of why we love pets – no matter how our lives change, and they are unintentionally marginalized and ignored – they return only love and loyalty.
- While Wilson essentially sleepwalks through his role, Aniston makes up the difference, which some well-acted emotion at key moments.
- The film’s end is slightly gratuitous – I don’t think they had to show some final moments.
- Much of relationship stuff is unthreateningly harmless and fluffy (no pun intended) – very little conflict between John, wife, and family. Their lives go generally, movie-perfect well – neither character ages despite children growing older. The film’s ultimate pay off only occurs in the final frames.
Despite vanilla for the majority of its running time, Marley And Me finally delivers the goods by its end in a surprisingly straightforward way. Worth a rental, especially if you’re a pet owner – and if so, you’d better have a box of Kleenex handy.