Marley & Me

3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Perhaps we need to modify the old show-business dictum about never working with animals (or children): It’s okay as long as their fur matches your hair. Golden-locked Jennifer Aniston and straw-maned Owen Wilson ( “the butterscotch stallion”) seem content to play second banana to a Labrador retriever (well, a series of them, from pup to aged hound) in this alternately goofy and tender adaptation of journalist John Grogan’s best-selling memoir about “the world’s worst dog.”

The intentional comedy is what you’d expect; dog poo and off-the-leash shenanigans feature prominently. But thankfully, screenwriters Scott Frank and Don Roos keep the jokes relatively in check (a few lines of dialogue suggest that a running gag about leg-humping has been wisely left on the editing-room floor). The unintentional comedy comes from John’s rise from metro-beat reporter to columnist, which now sounds like a fairy tale. (“I’ll double your salary,” offers editor Arkin. Yeah, right.)

Marley & Me strikes a surprisingly delicate balance between wacky humor and a more heartfelt look at how a dog, even a badly behaved one, becomes part of the family. Through work and family crises, Marley—and his penchant for literally chewing the scenery—always remains.



Release details

Release date:
Thursday December 25 2008
115 mins

Cast and crew

David Frankel
Scott Frank, Don Roos
Jennifer Aniston
Owen Wilson
Kathleen Turner
Alan Arkin
Eric Dane
Nathan Gamble
Haley Bennett

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