Troublesome, rambunctious, and absolutely wild; this is Marley the very cute Labrador whose antics such as eating everything in sight including a message minder machine (yes, the whole thing! ) supplied so much material that there was a newspaper column, a book, and now a film dedicated to him. Who needs Lassie when you have Marley to keep you laughing, and crying?
It may not win awards anytime soon but Marley and Me is a lovely heartwarming tale about John Grogan (Owen Wilson ) and his wife Jen (Jennifer Aniston ) whose lives are pretty much taken over by their new puppy, a puppy that grows into a 100 pound dog but loses none of his energy or love of chewing things.
Beginning with the wedding night we find out that Jen has a life-plan set out; get married, get house, have kids. It’s the last point that has John slightly worried, he wants still to be a major reporter and get a taste of the seemingly exciting bachelor life of his best mate Sabastian (Eric Bane who plays dishy Dr Mark Sloan in Grey’s Anatomy ). The two hatch a plan to stall Jen’s biological clock by surprising her with a puppy for her birthday.
From the moment John drives Marley home and attempts to tame him we fall in love but we soon realise that this dog is going to be trouble and that having kids would probably have been easier. Meanwhile, John’s ambition to be a roving reporter isn’t going as planned but Marley supplies plenty of inspiration for his column and provides some excellent comedy scenes. One that springs to mind is Marley swallowing a necklace, being chased around the house, and John having to wait until the piece of jewellery finishes its not so pleasant journey, if you know what I mean.
It’s not all fun and games, though, as this is also a drama about coping with everyday life, three children, and settling for what life throws your way. The film is also about the realisation of appreciating what you have and that Marley, for all his faults, is a central part of their family.
I would say that this film is perfect for dog loving adults. Young children, however, might not get as much out of it as there are some quite grown-up and upsetting scenes. This film is certainly worth a watch but you definitely need to bring the Kleenex. It’s a good job I wasn’t wearing mascara.
Verdict - 4.5/5