Monday, June 29, 2009
WORTH-IT: (David Frankel) Based on the memoir by John Grogan, Marley and Me is the story of two young journalists making a life (and a family) in South Florida, accompanied and made more entertaining by the world's worst dog. What began as a test for potential parenthood turns into a life-long attempt to break a golden retriever with genetic defaults to misbehavior. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston find chemistry to play to John and his wife Jenny, bringing their girl/boy next door reputations to play the conservative and lovable Grogans. Where there is nothing tremendously special about this film (and no actual plot) who doesn't automatically appreciate the story of a family's love for it's pooch. Readers of the memoir know the writer is keen to recruit fans, telling his stories honestly and with genuine humor almost everyone can relate to at one point or another. And because his story is so normal, it's easy to get lost in the relationships. Just because we don't know them personally, they are real people and people who are going through one of life's most popular growth spurts. Know that you'll laugh a lot, but be ready for an emotional roller coaster. When it involves a four-legged family member, there are no doubt attachments made that are hard to break (and even harder to watch break). Fortunately, this no-plot film is a beautiful illustration of Grogan's work, and a light-hearted way to enjoy a couple hours. Don't expect Old Yeller (real-life can only offer so much!), but it's better than Air-Bud.