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Marley & Me

Updated on March 24, 2012
aliciaharrell profile image

Alicia has been an Author, Columnist, and Reviewer for 10 years. Her success came from perseverance plus organized goal setting.

John and Jennifer Grogan arrive home from the airport to find their garage trashed by Marley. Scene from "Marley & Me."
John and Jennifer Grogan arrive home from the airport to find their garage trashed by Marley. Scene from "Marley & Me."

Movie Review

Marley & Me, released in 2008, is based on the autobiography authored by John Grogan titled Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog. Director David Frankel, cast and crew created a fabulous movie, especially for dog lovers who have shared similar with the rearing of their pet. I myself have owned a yellow Labrador and yes, he was very much like Marley. I did love him in spite of his wanderlust and faults specific to his breed. He was a very special dog and one that gave unconditional love back just like Marley. I would not have traded my yellow Labrador experience for any thing.

The film Marley & Me begins with the Grogan's becoming newly married and deciding to move to the "Sunshine State" known as Florida. While finding a place to live as well as getting some what settled, John Grogan (Owen Wilson) is hired by Editor Arnie Klein (Alan Arkin) at a local Floridan newspaper; joining his best man friend Sebastian Tunney (Eric Dane), who is a fellow journalist, as a fellow co-worker. John's wife, Jennifer Grogan (Jennifer Aniston), also finds work at a different local newspaper writing a woman's-view type of column. Both are encouraging and there for each other's careers.

Their new life together continues happily until John thinks Jennifer wants to settle down more, begin a family and has a panic attack which precipitates John discussing the settling down issue with Sebastian who suggests getting a dog to make certain Jennifer and John are ready to as a married couple properly care for something. John finds this an excellent idea and locates a place that sells yellow Labrador puppies. He takes Jennifer there for her to chose the puppy. The breeder shows them the puppies and explains the puppy that has gravitated toward Jennifer is "a clearance puppy", cheaper than the others. Jennifer and John, finding the puppy the most adorable of the litter, make arrangements to adopt the "clearance puppy."

Once the yellow Labrador puppy is fully weened, "clearance puppy" is brought to the Grogan home and begins his new life with them. Thus begins their experience with naming their pet, settling on the name Marley (because the puppy answers to it), getting used to Marley in their lives, and the realization they have adopted a trouble-seeking Labrador who has a mind of his own. This dog is so uncooperative that he flunks Obedience School taught by Ms. Kornblunt (Kathleen Turner), a dog trainer known for being able to teach the most disobedient.

In order to cope with the Marley's disastrous yet humorous escapades, John begins writing about them in his column. His humourous true dog owner stories gain him a promotion to Columnist from Editor Arnie Klein who likes John enough to develop a father-son type of relationship. The rest of this romantic-comedy is about the highs and lows of their marriage; having children and portrays how Marley was loved and a family member too.

The movie Marley & Me does confront the topic of mortality. My personal recommendation is for parents to watch this with their younger children because of the ending subject matter that may be disturbing to children under the age of 12. This is a good family film. Do recommend for family viewing, but there is a very good reason for the PG (Parental Guidance suggested) rating given Marley & Me . The end of the film makes this rating very apparent; a real tear jerker (a warning for the sentimental who like me cry from viewing sad endings in films).

I highly recommend Marley and Me; available on DVD. If a dog lover and/or owner, this movie is a must see! It is well worth spending the 1 hour and 50 minutes of one's valuable time. Marley and Me makes a great Family Night film, even for those picky teenagers at home who claim they want to go to their friend's house instead.



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    • aliciaharrell profile imageAUTHOR

      Alicia Rose Harrell 

      9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Yes, Susan, my husband and I felt the same as you about the ending. The worst is knowing this movie was based on an autobiography with the subject matter being from real life.

    • susanlang profile image


      9 years ago

      Alicia, I'm happy to be your first comment left on this hub. Mark and I saw this movie twice and I have to tell you.. as much as I loved it, I wished the ending was different.:)


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