Friday, December 26, 2008

Marley and Me Movie Review Nice Dog. Bad Movie!

My family and I went to see the movie Marley & Me on Christmas day. Like many others we wanted a fun family movie. This one was advertised as a comedy film for families. The poster featured an adorable big eyed puppy. That was too tempting for this pet-loving family to pass up. Soon, we were on our way to see Marley & Me at Carmike Movie Theater at East Town mall.

Warning, this movie review will give away plot details.

My rating on this film is a C- because it was such a disappointment. It clearly is not the comedy it was advertised to be. Neither was it a family film. The film carries a PG rating. In my opinion the film would have been better off with a PG-13 rating and advertised as a drama instead of a comedy.

Marley and Me is a movie based on the book by John Grogan.

The film is about John and Jennifer Grogran. When Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) starts to get the yearning for motherhood John (Owen Wilson) is urged by his friend Sebastian (Eric Dane) to get a dog. John surprises Jennifer with a trip to the breeder to select a puppy. A few weeks later, the puppy is old enough to come to his new home. Jennifer has to work out of town. The guys somehow muddle through a few days alone. When its time to pick Jennifer up from the airport, a very inexperienced John Grogran sticks Marley in a cardboard box and leaves the dog unattended in the garage. There is no food or water. The couple is shocked when they return to find the garage in pieces.

From there, the film snowballs downhill. There was very little comedy. Instead, the film is laced with sexual innuendos. By the end of Marley and Me, Jennifer has delivered three children. Although there is no actual nudity, the film does manage to let you know how each of the pregnancies happened.

Then, the worst thing the could happen in the film does. Marley becomes old and feeble and has to be put down. The scene with the vet is the longest part of the film. We watch as the vet pushes the plunger on the IV cocktail that carries Marley to doggy heaven. Then, we watch as each of the children say their goodbyes when Marley is buried in the front yard. The gut wrenching funeral scene left most of the audience in tears and needing pet therapy.

The worst thing is that Marley & Me is not necessarily a bad film. Marley's antics are not truly the focus of the movie. If it had been more accurately marketed it would have left the audience feeling less cheated.It is about a maturity, growth and dealing with adult midlife crisis. There is talk in the movie that an exhausted Jenifer, struggling to stay home with two kids and an untrained dog, might be suffering from post-partum depression. Instead of trying to dig in and help her John wonders if he should leave.

There is a lot that this film could be. But a comedy flick? Not Marley & Me.