Marley & Me Movie

marleyOwen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in Marley & Me

I thought Marley & Me would be one long laugh based on the previews. Instead it turned out to be a rather ordinary story about a family and their dog, “the world’s worst dog.”

A couple in Florida gets married, they get a gorgeous, sweet, yellow lab puppy that grows into a 100 lb life-force with absolutely no manners, the couple stops trying “to not” have a child, and then have three.

Based on the immensely best-selling memoir by journalist John Grogan, Marley & Me (the movie) is very much the story of a family, with all the struggles and challenges that come to us all. This is a good, solid film, but I have to admit to expecting a little bit more.

Alas, I am not a fan of Jennifer Aniston in film. But here, her portrayal of a woman who decides, along with her husband, to put forth the effort to make their marriage work when things get tough, is excellent and believable. I thought Owen Wilson, whom I do like most of the time, was rather “plastic”.  Alan Arkin, who is enjoying several new roles, plays Grogan’s newspaper editor, and he is really good. So was Kathleen Turner as the frustrated dog-trainer.

The best thing about dog movies is that they show what unconditional love looks like. And they make you cry at the end.