Marley, named after Bob Marley, is a boisterous, fun-loving Labrador retriever who John buys to placate his wife Jenny after the b-word pops up in their marriage (baby, in case you were wondering). Initially dubbed as a clearance puppy, the Grogans quickly learn that Marley is more than a handful.
The film, released on Christmas Day, spends most of its time showing all the shenanigans caused by Marley (swallowing a necklace, chasing a UPS man, attacking an obedience school trainer, chewing and urinating on many, many things), usually while dragging John behind him on a leash. The beauty of this film is that anyone who’s ever owned a pet can relate. You can fully laugh, cry, and enjoy every special moment with Marley and his family simply because most of us have been there. Despite the relentless hardships caused by Marley, it’s very clear that he is John and Jenny’s emotional constant as they struggle with work, kids and their marriage.
While Jennifer Aniston is likable and effectively carries her role as Jenny, a working journalist turned mother, it’s Owen Wilson in the role of Josh Grogan that makes this film work. His portrayal of John and his interaction with Marley is heartwarming. It’s the relationship between John and Marley that illustrates this film’s message: even though having a pet is hard work, you just can’t help loving them.
Bottom Line: “Marley & Me” is a heartwarming, family film that will make audiences laugh, cry and cheer. It’s for anyone who has ever been through the experience of owning and loving a family pet.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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