I read this enormously popular book by Mr. John Grogan last year, and by the end of it, I was pretty much in love with that darn dog. Which might be a pretty un-special or unique point of view, being as like I said, it was an enormously popular book, but I loved Marley, nonetheless. In my experience, as often as enormously popular things are bashed, they are enormously popular for a reason. When I heard they were making a movie of it I was slightly skeptical, being that 1) I feel like movies made out of memoirs are kind of odd in general. I mean there are many, many movies which are "based on true stories," but it's just different and weird somehow. Especially when the memoir is recent and the real people whose lives this is based on are very much still alive and kicking. 2) Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston? I have nothing against either of them as actors, but they were just so very very far from what I pictured John Grogan and his wife Jenny to be like at all.
Well, yesterday Kathy & I watched it, and we LOVED IT. I found myself completely loving both Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston. Like a lot. I also loved Alan Arkin, and McSteamy, and of course Marley, and overall I just felt it was well done. I was worried it would become some really cheesy family comedy, cheapening the closeness I had come to feel for the characters while reading the book. And maybe it was just a cheesy family comedy, but really, a lot of the times cheesy family comedies, when done well, are pretty much my favorite thing. Also, let me tell ya. It made Kathy and I WEEP like little babies. I mean, the tears were streaming down my face for the last half hour. Holy crap. We were such pathetic wrecks that it was funny, which of course is why I'm telling you all about it.
Here is the reason why Marley & Me is good: It's about the dog, yeah, and anyone who loves dogs will really like it. But mainly, it's just about an American family who has good times and bad times, funny ones and sad ones, who overall have a really good life, and who really, really love each other - all people and animals included. This doesn't seem like a terribly exciting plot. It's not, really. But you know, it's a good one. And you can see pieces of yourself in them, and it gives you hope that in the end you'll have lots of funny times and sad times and lots and lots of love, too. And of course it's about realizing that the "world's worst dog" will, in the end, be the world's best dog, because he was yours.