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Customer Review

97 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good if you're looking for something different...but put the kids to bed first., April 20, 2009
By 
This review is from: Marley and Me (Single-Disc Edition) (DVD)
There is a lot of controversy about this movie....it seems like people either love it or hate it. I'm in between....

I did not see Marley and Me in the theaters but being a dog-lover since I was born, I was interested and borrowed the DVD from my boss a few days ago as my mother wanted to see it as well.

For all you who have heard from lots of angry parents claiming "false advertising" and "deceiving trailers", I'd like to confirm that yes, that is somewhat true. If I had young brothers or sisters or children of my own, who wanted to see a cute and funny family dog movie, "Marely and Me" is not the movie that comes to mind here.

This for two reasons:

One, the movie's focus is on the marriage of a new couple and their struggles through a married life. It doesn't soley focus on the dog, he more so takes a backseat in most of the film, apart from the first hour or so. Children will adore the puppy Marley in the beginning, but their attention will go elsewhere when things get more serious after Marley grows up.

Two, is the mature content of the movie. There are several sexual references (nothing too explicit), some profanity, and darker scenes that are definitely too intense for younger viewers. I wouldn't suggest Marley and Me to anyone under 12...or any child who has not had "The Big Talk" yet. Because these scenes are most likely going to trigger the question that must be answered with "The Big Talk". Sure, innuendo goes right over the young ones' heads. But the last scene is the real clincher. It's going to have them crying so hard that it makes me say "Please completely abandon the idea of showing the movie to a kid. They won't be able to handle it."

My best suggestions for kid-friendly, family-friendly cute dog movies with HAPPY endings and very little adult content:

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Beethoven (only the first flick)
Lassie (most mature of the three but will definitely touch your heart.)

Now that we've covered that fact that this is NOT a children's movie, onto the actual review:

It's good but it could've been a bit better. Again, for two reasons:

One, it's a bit too long. Cut a half-hour out and it'd be fine.

Two, the relationship between the family and the dog wasn't really developed enough in my opinion. Marley spent most of the movie destroying things and terrorizing people and I kept waiting for him to do something heroic or outstanding in order to redeem himself but...he doesn't, aside from a comforting scene here and there. When Owen Wilson's character comments to the vet that Marley stayed up all night to watch over their sick son, I was thought ".....what? Why didn't they show that then!?" And because of this flaw, it really takes out much of the impact the ending is supposed to have. I'm a crier, a dog lover, and very sensitive. But the most I got was slightly teary-eyed. Marley and Me's biggest mistake was that it doesn't give the viewer enough time to fall in love with Marley before it's time to say good-bye to him.
.......although if you hate crying and feeling depressed, this COULD be a good thing.
Oh, did I mention that the dog's euthanasia scene is completely milked for all it's worth? Yeah. It's like the directors are doing everything possible to get you to cry that it almost feels insulting. They drag it out so far that I was saying to myself, "Come ON...enough is enough...it's far too obvious...just STOP IT!" I don't like to be beaten over the head with stuff. Owen telling Marley that he's a great dog as he dies was the thing that triggered my tears. The sad music and the home movies, and the children's euthanologies just made me roll my eyes and say "...um....trying a little TOO hard now".

So where's the good stuff? Well, it lies in the film's originality, talented acting, and ability to tell the realistic story of a any dog owner's life. There is something here any person who has raised a puppy can relate to-all through the parts of Marely's mischeviousness, I myself kept laughing and saying "YUP, MY DOG DOES THAT!!" Some of his antics are exaggerrated but not to point beyond disbelief-and that makes it even funnier. Comments like "Now he's eating the floor" and "Now he's eating your briefcase" had my family of three burst into laughter because as dog owners, we know what it's like.

The acting is GOOD. The characterization is GOOD too. Despite what you've heard, Jennifer Aniston is NOT Rachel Greene at all in this. She's an admirable, take-charge, responsible and independent mother, who as a human of course has her limits but she only complains ONCE about it. She also still looks pretty good for her age....I'd imagine that's a bonus for you men out there who like to look at her. *laugh* And the children are all very adorable and Owen plays a good father who even when he dislikes his job, puts his family first in every choice he makes.

As many have said before, this is a good movie to see with teenagers or significant other. The romance is well-done. But also see it if you love dogs or have owned one. Whether it's dogs, romantic love, or having a family, Marley and Me most likely has at least one thing any older viewer can relate to.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2009 9:15:16 AM PDT
Miss D says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2009 11:55:39 AM PDT
MollyRK says:
****BOOK AND MOVIE SPOILER ALERT* * * *

You mentioned that you kept waiting for Marley to do something heroic or to show why he was such an important dog to the family. Well, they left it out of the film, but in the book, when the teen neighbor Lisa was attacked, John sat next to her until the police came, and Marley stood in front of them, to make sure the attacker didn't come back and get them. John wrote that this was a moment where he realized how protective and loving Marley was. It's a shame that it was omitted from the movie. I was very disappointed with how the filmmakers dealt with the Lisa attack scene...but I could go on for hours with that one. :)

There was another nice moment, though, that was included in the movie. After Jenny had her miscarriage, Marley put his head in her lap and let her cry all she wanted. In the book, John stated that Marley had NEVER done anything like that before, and he never did it again. He just did it when Jenny was in that immense pain. That was a touching scene to me. It highlighted the best of Marley and how dogs in general really seem to sense emotion in their owners.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 11:34:09 AM PDT
This is a movie with PG-13 content and should have been rated as such. The ratings board is allowing the movie industry to put friendlier ratings on movies with questionable content just so they can make a few extra million on the DVD. Hollywood scum!

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 12:52:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2010 12:56:57 AM PST
John Doe says:
I disagree about the length, an hour & half is too short. 2hrs or even more is great. I found the scenes about his last moments at the vet & burial very touching and necessary to complete the story.

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 11:14:25 PM PDT
KATE JONSON says:
The film is tame!

Old Yeller had to be put down!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2011 3:58:50 AM PDT
Sam D says:
Miss D,

Thank you for your comments. I agree with you, especially your last paragraph. It points out one of the problems with today's movies where bad language seems to be used to sell a movie. Again, thank you.

SD

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2011 3:08:58 PM PDT
Tom Brody says:
Wow, somebody remembers Old Yeller. My school was going to take us to see it when it first came out. But it was sold out. So instead, our teacher took us to see, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, a Ray Harryhausen movie. It was not until forty years later that I actually watched Old Yeller. In retrospect, I am very glad that Old Yeller was sold out. IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, especially in its colorized version, is one of my all-time-favorite movies. By the way, in IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, the giant octopus also had to be put down. Now there is an idea, let's have a remake of MARLEY AND ME, except that instead of a dog, the family pet is a gargantuan octopus (the kind we find in IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 5:27:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2011 5:29:38 AM PST
J. Hedgepeth says:
@ Kate, I agree!The only differance is in this film and thought one is that this one is, in my opinion, taht Marely and me, despite the ending, leaves you happy knowing he lived a good life. That can hardly be said about Old Yeller.

As for the film not being for kids, I think i disagree. It is a tough one. But I dont think ut was really all that obscene, if at all. A few words here and there hardly make for a pg-13 film.

So I think it is fine for kids in my, but I dont think they would get as much out of it because there are adult conflicts that may be difficult to follow.

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 8:46:00 AM PST
Carol says:
Thanks for your insightful review. You've saved me the cost of getting it only to toss it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 1:19:00 PM PST
KATE JONSON says:
I don't understand some people.
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