Tuesday, 5 January 2010


I'd like to know which sicko at Lovefilm, the excellent online DVD rental service I use, decided to send me the movie Marley & Me on my dog's eighth birthday. Some celebration this was going to be. Anyway, here is what I thought of it. I tried to get Abe's opinion but he made a bolt for the door as soon as the credits started rolling.


Don’t be fooled by the trailer; Marley & Me is right up there with Sex: The Annabel Chong Story and Irréversible for films men should not watch with their partners on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. Starring 22 Labradors (all playing Marley), with scarcely credible performances by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, this trite drama is based on John Grogan’s International bestseller.

Wilson plays Grogan, a journalist who welcomes Marley into the home he shares with his wife (Aniston) to delay any plans she may be harbouring to have babies. The film plays out over the course of Marley’s life, during which not one but three children arrive, interrupted by a miscarriage and two promotions, culminating in a move to Philadelphia. Plot-wise, that’s about it.

Chong herself would be hard pushed to swallow Aniston’s unconvincing turn in a movie relying on a loveable canine to offer much needed comic relief as the two protagonists question all they’ve given up for family bliss. Yet somehow it works, and as the inevitable ending gets ever closer, anyone who has lost a pet will hardly be thanking director David Frankel for bringing those heart-rending memories flooding back. Gentlemen, it’s time to leave the room.

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