Marley and Me, or, I'm a big suck

As I’ve said before, I’m a big suck.
I went to see Marley and Me tonight. I had hoped to see it with my wife, but she was quite tired, so I went alone. That’s a shame, because I really, really would have liked to have her by my side for the movie.

The movie was…great. Oh, it isn’t an instant classic, it will get no notice from the Academy next year, it’s formulaic and predictable and manipulative…but it’s still a great movie in that it does a wonderful job of telling a story of life, as it is for most of us. I’ve read criticisms of Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston for their performances, but to me they were totally believable in their portrayal of an everyday couple. For me, I honestly believe that life is what happens when you’re not looking, and they nailed that to a T. Aniston’s angst as she gives up her career for her family is something I see every day in my wife. Wilson’s doubts as he assumes the mantle of sole breadwinner, and the sacrifices he has to make to do so resonate strongly with me because that is what I do everyday. This was a simple movie, telling a simple tale of real life, and if it didn’t reach the heights of Citizen Kane or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, so what?

The thematic framework of the movie was observing a typical couple-then-family framed by the antics of their dog, from his adoption to his death. The previews make it look like just another crazy dog picture, but it’s not. There is a lot of crazy dog silliness in it, and that’s fun, but the movie is about Wilson and Aniston and their struggle with growing up(I firmly believe that most of us don’t actually grow up until our kids drag us kicking and screaming into adulthood). Marley was the constant in their story, and when the time came for him to move on, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was crying like a baby. I sat there, tears running down my face, my nose overfull of snot, some of it running down into my mustache, and felt…vindicated?..affirmed?..I’m not finding the right word. I live my life for my family, moreso than most people, I think, and that worldview was brought out in that movie as a good thing. It IS a good thing. It better be, it’s what I’ve hitched my star to.

That’s it, I have nothing more to say. I loved the movie, I loved the dog. I’m glad I saw it. It was FUN. Suspend your disbelief for a bit and see it with someone you love. You won’t regret it.

I saw it with my wife last week. We both enjoyed it. Yes, it’s not a “classic,” but so what? It was poignant. We’ve been married 8 years and the dog we had for 6 of those years died last January. I’m extremely grateful that he died on his own, in our home, so I didn’t have to put him down. I’ve watched my father do that with a few family dogs and it is excruciating.

I thought the performances were fine. Aniston has one scene after she calms down from being extremely upset with Marley and wants him gone that she nails. Alan Arkin was very good in a small role. Even the kids were good.

Agreed. I went the day after Xmas, and loved it. I saw bits of every dog I have ever owned in Marley. I think everyone in the theatre was crying at the end. I have been in that position too many times to not FEEL what he was going thru as he stood by Marley’s side.

Everyone that has ever loved a dog should see it.

Yep, yep, what they all said. It’s a very sweet, funny, believable family movie, and one of the many cool things about it is that most of the funniest lines are NOT in the trailer! I was surprised as hell that I liked it so much. I’m a cat person but I grew up on a farm with lots of dogs and it certainly tugged at those memories.

And yeah, I also thought Anniston nailed that scene. I could understand her frustration with Marley, but I got a lump in my throat when she said “This is his home.”

If you ever ever owned a dog, bring Kleenex, or you’ll be sniffling snot on your sleeve.

I want to see this, but I don’t want to see this. I read the book, and it was the only time I have ever cried while reading a book. And I don’t mean tears running down my face, but big sobs that alarmed my youngest daughter. We have two dogs; one is so lodged in my heart I can’t bear the thought of her being gone, and the other is such a hyper dorky dog that I told my husband a few times to get him out of our house, but couldn’t go through with it because he’s part of the family.

My kids aren’t sure about it either after seeing what a mess I was after finishing the book.