Debriefing: Marley & Me

Posted on December 29, 2008. Filed under: Movies, Personal Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

Anther novel turned movie. This movie was sure to please – a true holiday hit. While many may have gone into this movie looking for a drama or a comedy, what everyone really got was a real slice of life tale about Marley and his family, The Grogans. Marley & Me falls into this happy medium of movies that includes a little bit of drama, comedy, happiness and love, it really takes time to encompass all of the emtions that are wound into life.

Jenny & John Grogan (Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson respectively) start the movie on their wedding night. Jenny dreamily goes through the steps of her life that she has planned out – step 1 – 3 are not complete through her wedding. John may be a little frightened of the daunting steps ahead but always seems excited to share his life with her. The couple is career-oriented and while they are in the same field they have much different jobs and John surprises himself by settling into a column at his South Beach paper. While their life is going in the forward direction, a puppy is agreed upon as a good start for them before having children. John surprises Jenny with the Yellow Lab and gets a surprise himself when the puppy they love is on clearance. It is a sure-win for the Grogan family.

John gets a chance to spend the puppy’s first weekend man to man with the puppy since Jenny will be away on business. John gets to bond with the puppy and learns about Marley’s chewing habits. Both John and Jenny see right from the start that Marley is a dog on mission: his own mission. He is not one to obey anyone most of the time, and tests the limits continually. As the Grogan family grows, so does Marley’s free-will. Marley tests Jenny’s patience and often has John swearing at him for getting them both in trouble. It is decided though after all the trials Marley puts them through that Marley’s only home is with the Grogans, and that’s a good home for him to be in.

Marley ages with the Grogans but not quietly. Marley still has a big appetite for fun, trouble and anything not nailed to the ground but even through children and a big move, Marley fits in perfectly with the family. The family has surprised themselves with how they’ve changed. John has the same friends but never believed that he would be happy in his column, and his family. Jenny, the career woman, is perfectly happy at home and found that happiness is not at work but at home with her children and her family. Marley and the children also grow into each other – Marley has playmates in the kids and has the unconditional love of John & Jenny.

The end of the movie really brings tears to your eyes as you see the life of Marley and John slowing beginning to age and slowly die. It is a true story of family and life. Marley is a main character but the true story is not in Marley but of love and choices that life brings and how great of a pet the unruly Marley was to share those times with. It is impossible to leave the theatre with a dry eye after this story, but it is not a story to miss! While the movie is rated PG, I would give it more of a rating of PG-13 for the storyline as well as many elements of the movie. It is more geared for older children and adults not as much of the younger crowd that it is marketed for. Overall it is an instant hit and a story that makes you appreciate all of the small joys in your life!

Personal Rating: A    

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[…] While many may have gone into this movie looking for a drama or a comedy, what everyone really got was a real slice of life tale about Marley and his family, The Grogans. Marley & Me falls into this happy medium of movies that includes …[Continue Reading] […]


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