Friday, January 9, 2009

Marley & Me

Owen Wilson plays John Grogan in this full length family picture. Jennifer Aniston stars as his wife and I do not care how much time she spends in a tanning booth, she is not what she used to be ten years ago when she first hit the scene.

This movie starts out in Florida and the last thirty minutes is in Philadelphia or outside it in their large suburban home.

The movie centers around a labradore which is fine until the two main characters do not believe in training the dog. Apparently this is an alien concept to them. This movie is a poster film for anyone who does not believe in training a dog, ever punishing an animal, and not ever raising their voice to the animal. The dog which is named Marley just destroys the home. When he is a puppy and they first buy the dog, that seems OK and plausible. But as the movie goes on and Marley is destroying their home, barking at the lightning-never growing out of this, running all over the neighborhood, it sends a negative message to viewers.

I have never met anyone who did not believe in training a dog. Some people pay for it and read books on the subject, others have a more natural instinct on how this is done. Or should be. Either way, train the dog. But I guess in this movie, the fictional characters are too politically correct or liberal to actually believe in some authority, or any. The dog repeatedly causes them frustration and yet they do nothing about it. When they do take the dog to a training class with a woman who supposedly knows about animals, she can not control the animal and does not know how to convey to the Grogans why this is important. Grogan seems content with the dog acting out and anarchist. The scene when the dog runs back and jumps on this woman is pretty weak. I guess some younger kids would think this is funny but anyone around animals or with any sense would not be caught flat footed like that. She saw the dog running at her. The writers wanted to send a negative message to anyone who uses a whistle on an animal is an animal hater. I guess the animal is supposed to be equal to the owners despite the animal not being able to survive without the owner feeding and watering her.

This movie is superior to Adam Sandler's Click of a couple of years ago because that movie started out funny but the last thirty minutes was a deplorable mix of sadness and scene switching. It was unbearable. This movie mixes in some comedy but is mainly a light family drama and this mood slowly sinks in from the first half of this picture.

The movie does highlight the positive aspects of living in Florida, or warmer temperatures, and cooler ones. Grogan is a newspaper writer and this movie explains pretty well the difference in the temperments and attitudes of a columnist and a reporter.

Newspapers are a dying centerpiece to American culture. As they should be though. Many are liberal, paint a socialist and big government picture. This does not draw a following and turns many people off. They are not very practical either. Online news and the success of sources like Fox News, newspapers are losing circulation every year. Now they are begging the law makers, public servants, to give them money so they can support themselves. This is just incredible but is actually occuring. Anyone who knows about the market does know that newspapers glory days are probably behind them. The US is massively in debt, how an organization that is not critical and chose not to invest in the web can clamor of tax payers money/assistance to pay for itself is just abhorrent.

This movie is not that funny but it is not supposed to be. So typical Owen Wilson fans, which I am, may not enjoy this movie that much. As I did not. Good thing I can skip the slow scenes. This movie is made for females and I am sure they will see this movie in droves. Jennifer Aniston is not that appealing to me, her tan is produced and just annoying to me. She is not that funny. I am surprised she chooses not to work and to remain home with the children. I am sure this aggravates the feminists.

Marley causes allot of damage but since Owen Wilson is a high paid writer, I guess it is not a big deal to him. Too many people though, in this tough economy, this is not going to relate to them that well. How many people have their income doubled at once? Too feed an animal that eats this much and devastates property while the owners display complete apathy, just laugh it off-fantasy.

In reality, a dog like this would irritate neighbors which would have led to Grogan getting into a fight. Perhaps police would have to get involved and they would be forced to give up the animal or regulate it's behavior. And yes, this would involve training and some get serious measures. But in Hollywood thinking, the latter can not happen. An unchecked animal would also lead to a possible lawsuit in any given scenario which one with even a small imagination could think of.

The movie had some decent music, it was full length, and had some family situations that are realistic. Like the difficulty of having a family in the first place. For this, I give it some merit. But I will never sit through this movie again and I hope Wilson's next movie is better. Wilson made Drillbit Taylor about 9 months ago and this was amusing. But it only starred him so it's box office take was probably less than what Marley will absorb. Oh well, Marley is not for me.

I allocate this movie 2 stars. **


Benjamin said...

Alright i get your critic, but,
that was how the writers made the movie. The overly-exaggerated dogs faults and the humans errors may have been fiction, I do not know, I also winced when he chewed up the couch,
but you know what, it was based on a true story, and the real by-line for the author's articles in the Florida news paper, made him an instant hit,
made people happy, made him a better writer, and hey! made him money.
The book is listed as non-fiction, so the writer may have really been this carefree about the dogs bad habits. I don't know,
The movie made me laugh, made me feel good, and the actors were great. The kids included.

If you ever had the time to show it in one of your classes, even after giving the lecture about responsibility and training, your kids would still "get it" and laugh themselves silly.

3 Stars

Benjamin said...

The previous comment was from my mother.

Benjamin said...

Mom, we used to have some trashy neighbors that lived about 200 feet from us diagnolly across two streets. Their dog used to crap in our front yard. One day dad threw a wrench at the dog after asking me too. I was younger and scared. Hitting the dog, the dog screamed and the dad and the neighbor woman got into a screaming match. This is reality. Is this clear?

This movie is pure fantasy and is not correct. This movie sends a fallacious message. A trashy and sloppy one. Perhaps dirty and selfish people would be inclined to enjoy this film. I would never show this to movie to anyone I care about. Is this clear to you?

I would watch Drillbit Taylor or any other Owen Wilson movie to children. Last night, Behind Enemy Lines was on TV and this movie, for the 10th time, was superior than this drawn out movie the first time.

Jennifer Aniston is not that attractive, fake and unnatural tan, which makes her look like a carrot. Their is not anything special about kid characters, they are kids. They are cute in any movie that has child characters. Unless it is the Narnia movies, one of those daughters is not really cute at all.

Benjamin said...

She emailed me and I copied and pasted her response. My response was just posted.