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  Marley & Me

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Alan Arkin, Eric Dane, Haley Bennett

Directed by: David Frankel

Produced by: Gil Netter, Karen Rosenfelt

Written by: Donald Roos, Scott Frank

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

     Unlike its (crushed) box-office competitor Bedtime Stories, Marley & Me represents Hollywood filmmaking at its finest. It’s a well-written, well-acted family film that will in the end bring at least a speck of added moisture to even the most pessimistic of viewers’ eyes (mine included). The movie was directed by David Frankel, who also helmed the superiorly-entertaining Devil Wears Prada, and stars a never-more-likable Owen Wilson and remarkably-tolerable Jennifer Aniston. They play print journalists John and Jennifer Grogan—yeah, it’s a stretch, but they make it work—who start a family by adopting the titular mutt Marley, who wreaks havoc on any piece of furniture, object, or animal that catches his eye. (Normally I use the proper “it” when describing a dog, but the practice would be futile here.) There isn’t anything more to the movie than the above. Things change in John and Jenn’s lives—they have children, switch jobs, and move from Florida to Pennsylvania—but the movie remains the sincere story of the days they spend with their lovable and life-changing (if troublesome) dog. It’s assuring to know that a mega-budget production with larger-than-life stars can still be allowed to have faith in simplicity so long as it’s well-made. The situations and dialogue, adapted from those in the popular novel by the real John Grogan, are funny and touching enough to sustain a substantial 123-minute running length. Fused with the movie’s full slate of winning performances—Wilson and Aniston are matched every step of the way by supporters including Alan Arkin, Eric Dane, and Nathan Gamble (particularly sympathetic as the oldest Grogan child)—these elements make Marley & Me a treat for all moviegoers, even those who don’t particularly like dogs.


-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 1.4.2008

Screened on: 12.29.2007 at the Edwards San Marcos 18 in San Marcos, CA.


Marley & Me is rated PG-13 and runs 123 minutes.

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