Marley & Me
It seems this summer is the season of Journalist Biographical movies. From “Yes Man”, basing itself (Somewhat Loosely) on Danny Wallace’s book of the same name through to the new romantic comedy drama, “Marley and Me”. This movie follows the New York Times best seller “Marley and me” written by John Grogan about his life as paralleled by his families relationship with their overexcited and ill-behaved Labrador, ‘Marley’.
Marley enters the family as a strategic distraction away from Grogan (Wilson) having kids with his wife (Anniston). At the time, Grogan has dreams of becoming a world-respected journalist, writing the stories that change people’s lives. However, as his own life begins to surround him closer and closer by the day, his dream gives way to survival.
The title character of the movie is somewhat of an annoyance to me at the beginning of the film, I got very frustrated with the lack of boundaries that the main characters put on the dog. He runs rampant and creates havoc and destruction everywhere he goes. But as the film unfolds I began to connect with this dog and even desire a high spirited pooch of my own. Of course that is the purpose of a movie isn’t it? To win us over, to break down our original pre-conceptions of the characters that we see. In modern cinema it is more often that we see the anti-hero, someone whose character is flawed and some cases beyond our views of redemption. Yet when push comes to shove, the anti-hero becomes the hero and in some cases, does the right thing at the cost of his or her own life.
But I digress (Often), as the film progresses we see a naughty pet slowly move more central within the family. By the end of the film it is hard to imagine this family without the dysfunctional canine. Perhaps if my family had a naughty dog when I was growing up I might not have got in as much trouble. Proving that his ability to act in roles requiring more than just comedic timing, Owen Wilson endears the audience to his connection with Marley. The interaction between Wilson and Anniston are realistic and a nice change of pace to the get the girl, loose the girl and get the girl again type of chick flick that has so long dominated our screens. This film shows a couple connecting and staying connected despite uncomfortable times.
I enjoyed this film; it was a welcome escape without a deep emotional or academic challenge for an hour and half.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist
Releases: 12th February 2009
Running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Comedy Drama
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Anniston & Alan Arkin
Director: David Frankel