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Marley And Me - The Film
Marley & Me (DVD)
Member Name: nykied
Marley & Me (DVD)
Advantages: It's not a bad film in itself
Disadvantages: It's not a patch on the book
I have wanted to watch 'Marley and Me' since it came out, having read the book at least three times and loved it, despite the fact that I cried each and every time I read it. The main reason I bought the book in the first place was because I used to have a Golden Retriever and Marley looked similar. I fully expected to have the same affection for the film and it was a long-awaited moment when I finally sat down to watch it.
The film stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson as Jenny and John Grogan, a recently-married couple. Their life is mapped out according to the 'steps' of Jenny. The first step is meeting and the second step is marrying, which leads John to believe that the next obvious step is for them to have children. As he's not ready for that, he buys them a Labrador puppy, which he names Marley. He hopes that having a puppy in the house will delay the move to the next step, plus he thinks that having a puppy will be easier.
How wrong can one man be? Marley is, according to John, 'the worst dog in the world', with his chewing, gnawing, slobbering, generally destructive habits. He's very resistant to training and this film shows his journey through life with the Grogan family.
The acting in 'Marley and Me' is good. I believed in the characters, including the dog. I identified with them and wanted the best for them. I couldn't really fault the acting, to be honest. The story is engaging, although as the film is spread over a period of about fifteen years, there wasn't really the opportunity to elaborate on any one plotline.
The dogs that played Marley himself did so perfectly. There was no obvious change in dog from when Marley was a puppy and when he was an adult. The dogs were very well trained throughout the film and I empathised with them.
So why am I not being more enthusiastic about it then? I've already said that I loved the book, yet I blatantly didn't love the film. Why? Well, for me, the film focused more on Jenny and John Grogan and their trip through life, rather than the life of Marley. There was more 'Me' than 'Marley' and I felt hard done to by this. I cared more about Marley and his goings on than about how John's career in journalism was progressing.
There was also too many bits missed out of the film, in my opinion. One of the funniest bits in the book is when Marley eats the whole back of a car seat, yet in the film, it's down to a throwaway line about how Marley shouldn't be hungry as he's eaten half a seat belt. There were too many bits missed out for the film to be anywhere near as good as the book.
In the film, it's claimed by the Grogans that Marley is 'the worst dog in the world', yet the film didn't really show why, which was a real shame, as that was what made the book so good. Every dog owner could relate to Marley's life, both the ups and the downs. Missing those bits out missed the whole point of the film, for me at least.
In summary, I will read the book again, but I won't be watching the film again.
Summary: Read the book rather than the film!