Director: David Frankel
Cast: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Alan
Arkin, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Official Website: www.marleyandmemovie.com/
Opening Day: 26 February 2009
As the snow falls on their wedding night, newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (OWEN WILSON and JENNIFER ANISTON) decide to leave behind the harsh winters of Michigan and head south to begin their new lives in West Palm Beach, Florida. They obtain jobs as journalists at competing local newspapers, buy their first home, and begin to make their way through the challenges of a new marriage, new careers and, possibly, the life-changing decision to start a family.
Unsure of his preparedness for raising children, John confesses his fears to his friend and fellow journalist Sebastian, who comes up with the perfect solution: John should get Jenny a puppy. "There's nothing to it," says Sebastian. "You walk 'em. You feed 'em, you let 'em out now and then." Then came Marley.
The world is divided into dog-lovers and cat-lovers. Or so
people often say. I must confess that I am and have always
been more of a cat-lover. And I’m sure there’s
going to raise some howls (and barks) of disapproval from
the dog-lovers whom I have discovered are the majority in
here’s what Marley has taught me- a dog may not always
be a man’s best friend, but at least it will surely
be a man’s great friend. It will love you unconditionally,
it will be there through your ups and downs and it will be
one great source of joy in your life. (Besides, if you’re
single, it can very possibly open the door for you to meet
the dog-lovers can very well tell you all this too, but Marley
makes quite the convincing argument here- and I admit that
it has made me take to the canine species in a considerably
more positive light. Whether I want to have a dog like Marley
however is another question, because much as I will enjoy
the fun, I don’t think I can ever put up with the mayhem
like newlyweds John and Jennifer Grogan do.
at least if I were getting a dog, I’d have the sense
not to buy the one the pet lady is offering cheaper than all
the rest- “clearance puppy” as John and Jenny
call Marley when they first see him. As they soon find out,
there’s always a good reason something’s sold
at a bargain price. Marley turns out to be more than the hyperactive
mutt- he chews up almost everything in sight, he whines incessantly
every time there’s a thunderstorm and don’t even
think of walking him, he’ll end up walking you instead.
and Jenny love him nonetheless and Marley ends up becoming
a part of their family. And this is what this story is all
about- how Marley sees both John and Jenny through as they
settle into their respective journalistic careers, contemplate
having a baby, having one, then another, and yet another,
moving to another city, watching their kids grow up and basically
struggle with the things in life most of us will surely identify
with some point or another in our own.
lies the reason why Marley and Me- based on the bestseller
by John Grogan- becomes surprisingly affecting and heartfelt.
In John and Jenny, we see how life is often lived as compromises,
compromises between what we want to do and what we are good
at, compromises between personal ambition and family obligations,
compromises we sometimes ask if they are worthwhile after
all. Within such dilemmas also lie the people we care about
the most, and the people who care for us the most.
adapting the story for the big screen, screenwriters Scott
Frank and Don Roos have adeptly preserved the realness of
John and Jenny’s lives that made the novel such a hit
in the first place. Director David Frankel also achieves a
fine balance between the whimsical and the realistic, never
allowing the inevitable cute dog scenes to become caricatures.
And while the movie may go on for a tad too long, Frankel
keeps the pace brisk enough so you won’t feel bored.
of course who can forget Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston?
At no point during this film do the two human actors allow
themselves to be upstaged by their pooch. Not only do they
look like the golden couple, they actually share great chemistry
with each other. Indeed, they make an excellent balancing
act beside Marley and together become the heart and soul of
this movie. Cat-lover or dog-lover, you’ll find it hard
to resist the appeal of this utterly charming movie.
(Two irresistible stars and one irrepressible dog
make an absolutely winsome combination)
Review by Gabriel Chong