Review – Marley and Me

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By Yogini Jivanji on 26.3.2024

Review – Marley and Me

Starring America’s favourite sweetheart Jennifer Aniston and quirky-nosed Owen Wilson, ‘Marley & Me’, has raked in $51.7 million and its success is largely due to the 22 different dogs that played the character of Marley, portraying him in a notorious yet lovable light which will have most dog owners shaking their head reminiscently. Analogous with ‘Beethoven’ and ‘My Dog Skip’, this film provides laughter and tears for many and establishes itself as a firm feel-good family movie.

The film follows what most couples believe to be the right path in preparation for parenthood; they decide to get a dog which they soon decide is the ‘worst dog in the world’. Indeed, Marley proves to be a home-wrecker in the literal sense, incapable of being left alone without muzzling his way into mayhem. His antics, nevertheless, inspire Grogan’s (Wilson) daily column and although, he cannot compare with his wife Jenny who is also a journalist, Grogan begins to excel at his job. In time, he is ready to start a family and Jenny is able to tick one more thing off her list of ‘Life Plans’. Yet, parenthood and Marley’s unchanging character take the couple by storm – sacrifices have to be made, compromises met and understandings reached.

Jenny becomes the iconic stay-at-home Mum while Grogan wavers in a mid-life crisis, unsure of his current job. Pulling them through all their troubles and simultaneously adding to them, Marley manages to keep the Grogans laughing and sighing through their ups and downs.

13 years and three kids later, Aniston and Wilson hardly age and the notion of living in a picturesque country house in Pennsylvania on one journalist’s salary hardly seems credible. Unless you are accompanying a child or are a devout dog-lover, you might come away slightly irked by such inconsistencies or annoyed at the Grogan’s lack of restraint on Marley. Dog- owners like me have much more to relate to concerning Marley’s mischievous behaviour, but overall all viewers can expect to gain a deeper sense of the loyalty dogs have; as creatures able to love us more than we can ever love ourselves or each other.


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