Movie Review – ‘Marley & Me’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Last Friday, I saw a movie on Disney+ that was initially released at cinemas in the USA on Christmas Day in December 2008, before it was released at cinemas in the UK at the Glasgow Film Festival in February 2009 (which is odd, come to think about it). This is the comedy-drama film ‘Marley & Me’.

The film stars Owen Wilson as John Grogan and Jennifer Aniston as his wife Jenny. It’s based on the 2005 memoir called ‘Marley & Me’ (also called ‘Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog’) by John Grogan. The film has John and Jenny being the owners of Marley, a Labrador retriever.

Marley is a misbehaved dog that John and Jenny initially struggle to train whenever he’s in their household, as he often barks a lot; chews and eats things; etc. But as the film progresses, we see the life of John and Jenny with Marley as their dog, especially when they have three kids later in the film.

My parents and I surprisingly enjoyed this film when we saw it on Disney+. This could have easily ended up being one of those films we eventually didn’t like, such as the ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ film we saw recently. Thankfully, the film ended up being charming and very heartbreaking towards the end.

There are a couple of dodgy moments in terms of how some of the comedy is executed. This includes Marley the dog ending up doing his ‘doings’ on the beach when he and John were out and about. There’s this summery feel to the film, which is a contrast to being released at Christmas time.

Jennifer Aniston even strips naked for Owen Wilson’s character before she plunges into the swimming pool at their new home in the film’s second half. Mind you, this isn’t the first time she’s done something like this, as she did it in the 2006 film ‘The Break-Up’, which I’ve seen in its trailer. 😀

It was nice to see Owen Wilson in a starring role for a change compared to watching him in a co-star role with Tom Hiddleston in the ‘Loki’ series recently. It was interesting how John Grogan was telling his life story for a column at a newspaper company he worked at, and with humourous monologues.

Jennifer Aniston is of course well-known for her ‘Friends’ fame. I’ve not seen ‘Friends’ at all, though I have seen Jennifer Aniston in ‘Bruce Almighty’ with Jim Carrey. I liked the romantic relationship formed between John and Jenny in the film, especially when coping with Marley and raising a family.

The film also includes Eric Dane as Sebastian, John’s friend in the film and there’s Alan Arkin as Arnie Klein, the editor-in-chief of John’s newspaper company. Alan Arkin has also been in films like ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and 2019’s ‘Dumbo’. It’s intriguing how he played a newspaper editor here. 🙂

Alan Arkin could’ve easily played him in a J. Jonah Jameson or Perry White manner. Thankfully, he didn’t, since Arnie Klein appears to be someone who’s interested in the columns John writes in his newspaper. He encourages him to pursue the career forward, despite John wanting to be a reporter.

The film also features Haley Hudson as Debbie and Haley Bennett as Lisa. Kathleen Turner (who I’ve seen in ‘A Simple Wish’ with Mara Wilson and she voiced Jessica Rabbit in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’) plays Ms. Kornblut, who runs a dog obedience program that Marley sadly doesn’t do well in.

I don’t think there’s enough of Kathleen Turner in the film. There’s also Ann Dowd as Dr. Platt. John and Jenny’s three children include Patrick (I thought ‘Patrick’ was the name of a pug. 😀 ), played by Nathan Gamble; Connor, played by Finley Jacobsen; and Colleen, played by Lucy Meriam. 🙂

I was expecting the film to conclude with John Grogan writing a book about Marley, him and his family, especially as that had been hinted at earlier on in the film. Sadly, that’s not included in the film, which is a shame. It was very sad to see how Marley died in this film, especially since he was getting older.

‘Marley & Me’ has been a nice film to watch on Disney+. It’s quite a refreshing film about a dog being a part of a young married couple’s life to raise a family, even if the dog misbehaved a lot of the time. If you’re a dog lover, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this film. And if you aren’t, you’ll still like it anyway. 🙂

My Mum was in tears by the time this film came to an end.

“Isn’t that right, Cuddles?”

Cuddles: “Yes. Your Mummy was upset when Marley died. I was upset too.”

“Still, you liked the film, didn’t you?”

Cuddles: “Yes. Nice to see another film about a doggie. Thank you, Master.”

“No problem!” 😀

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

P.S. I won’t be reviewing the direct-to-video sequel ‘Marley & Me: The Puppy Years’ anytime soon.

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