Marley and Me is a drama – comedy released in 2008 and is a moving film starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson in the lead roles. The movie itself is based on John Grogan’s novel by the same name. The film was directed by David Frankel, who is an American film director, producer and screenplay writer. The movie has a Parental Guidance rating due to mild violence and sex references and runs for approximately 115 minutes.
In the film Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson play a newly married couple by the names of Jenny and John Grogan. They are happily married, but Jenny is particularly broody for children and suggests to John that they should think about starting a family. The problem for John is that he doesn’t believe he is ready just yet for this commitment. After discussion with friends, he decides that the best course of action is to get a dog in order to see whether they are certain and ready for a family or not. He convinces Jenny into looking a litter of Labrador retrievers in the hope that she will fall in love with one of them and want a new puppy instead. This will then delay the inevitable of Jenny wanting a baby for a bit longer while he prepares himself for the big change.
So the puppy is chosen and they arrange to collect him a few weeks later. However, the puppy proves to be more of a handful then they could have ever imagined and suddenly chaos is the order of the day in their normally quiet household. They start to wonder whether this dog just can’t be controlled. It’s not long before their new dog has become so disruptive in their lives that they firmly believe that this is the worst dog in the world. This disruption continues as the dog grows and the couple’s lives change and the movie follows them through the years of marriage and into the lives of their young children when they are eventually born a few years later. Time passes and the children grow and the family move to a new house, but Marley remains a constant in their life and is still causing mayhem. In total the movie covers 14 years of the Grogan family from a newly married couple to children and laughs and loss.
The movie when it was released was widely advertised as a romantic comedy with two popular stars in the main roles which was thought of as a recipe for success. Through the movie there are comedy moments mainly involving the dog as he fast becomes the main star in the film, despite some great performances from Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson. The dog is what accounts for a huge part of the storyline, and amazingly 22 different dogs were used in the filming of this movie. The storyline is both engaging and heart-warming as it mixes a combination of comedy with the other ingredients of heartbreak and sorrow. With great success the movie strives to bring some light relief to what at times is a harrowing look at the ups and downs of life. The last half hour of the movie is very moving and the only constant throughout is Marley.