Sunday, August 2, 2009

Marley and me (DVD)

I loved John Grogan's book about his family's rambunctious golden labrador Marley so much that I couldn't wait to see the DVD, even while cautioning myself that it couldn't possibly be as good as the book.
And, of course, it wasn't. While the film is fine on the surface, and will be a hit with viewers who haven't read the book, what is missing is what is so apparent in the book - why the family loves Marley, despite his mega-destructive behaviour. Chewing through walls, furniture, kids' toys, disgracing himself on the doggie beach and his fear of thunder are all part of the reason the Grogans call Marley "the world's worst dog". All through the film I kept thinking "Why wouldn't you get rid of a dog like that?"
There were some great laugh-out-loud moments - when Marley knocked over the bossy dog trainer, or when, tied to a table at an outdoor cafe, he took off, table and all, after a passing dog, for example - and some emotional moments that had me reaching for the tissues.
Jennifer Aniston as Jenny Grogan is just as lovely as depicted in the book, while I thought Owen Wilson, with his unkempt surfie looks and irritating drawl, was miscast as a dumbed-down John Grogan. Another quibble - the couple looked just the same throughout the film, right down to clothing choices and hair, despite the passing years and a busy family life with three growing children.
Did I enjoy this film? Well, yes. Would I watch it again? No. Would I read the book again? Any time.
Rating - I give this 3/5
Not bad!
Get this from the library
Reviewed by Jan@ Ballarat branch

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