Marley & Me
Directed by: David Frankel
Cast: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Eric Dane, Alan Arkin
Running Time: 2 hrs and 3 mins
Plot: A couple’s life completely changes when an excited, naughty puppy enters their life. John (Wilson) eventually finds his voice at a newspaper when he starts talking about his dog, Marley. Based on the best-selling book by John Grogan.
Who’s It For? Wait for it, wait for it … This one is for the dogs. Zing!
Movie: Wilson is a perfectly cast, mild mannered man, which is saying a lot because of his previous high intensity comedic characters in his past. At the center, this is all about a man’s relationship with his dog. They don’t oversell the cute, and they move quickly throughout the key moments of John, Marley and Jennifer’s (Aniston) lives. Did you notice how Aniston is third? That’s the one fault I have with the story. She doesn’t find her character’s voice until it’s that of a frustrated housewife. The seperation between John and Marley with the rest of the family is a bit odd, but nothing that removes the heart from this film. Plus, I’m a sucker for capturing the life of a journalist and the montage of John’s writing experiences is my personal highlight.
Movie Score: 7/10
Deleted Scenes: Commentary by David Frankel perfectly illustrates why there were 26 minutes of film left on the cutting room floor. Some are just two to three seconds long. We do learn that 22 dogs played Marley, and Frankel is convinced it’s a film about marriage, though I disagree. Frankel also says he didn’t want a “puppy movie” and that’s why some scenes of a young Marley are removed.
Finding Marley: The trainers give us a glimpse into what it’s like to get all the dogs ready to play Marley. There’s a misbehaving Marley, a Marley who can fake pee, and the older one as well. It’s interesting to see all the work that goes into a dog film. And the trainers even inspired the baseball game scene.
Breaking the Golden Rule: This is eight minutes of “behind the scenes.” Aniston gives us the old “you always hear you aren’t supposed to work with babies and animals” line. And just like that line, there’s nothing fresh about this feature.
The other extras:
On the set with Marley: Dog of All Trades
Purina Dog Chow Marley & Me Video Contest Finalists
Purina Dog Chow Video Hall of Fame
When Not to Pee
Extras Score: 8/10
This is a DVD is add to your collection. I am speaking strictly to the dog lovers out there … and maybe fan’s of newspaper columnists as well. Sure, part of the time you wonder why they don’t just train the animal. I mean, I am a dog owner for the first time in my life and my 4 month old puppy hasn’t come close to getting into the trouble Marley did. And I’m sure someone out there wants to debate that Marley is an individual and was on his own path, and I really don’t need that debate. So we’ll just say you win, OK? More importantly, there isn’t a better dog movie out there. Turner and Hooch, I’m looking right at you.
Final Score: 8/10