By Jenna DeWitt: Freedom New Mexico
A dog is a man’s best friend, according to “Marley and Me,” a movie that opened Christmas Day based on the book by John Grogan.
The story follows Grogan and his wife, Jenny, through their marriage and the effect their 97-pound yellow Labrador had on their lives.
The movie begins with the two newlyweds moving to Florida to work as journalists at competing local newspapers. Grogan buys his wife a puppy to help prepare them for parenthood.
What the couple does not expect is that they have chosen “the world’s worst dog” as Grogan describes him. Despite ripping through sofa cushions, running wildly across neighbors’ backyards and eating everything in sight, Marley wins the hearts of his family, Grogan’s readers and now movie-goers across the nation.
The movie stars Owen Wilson as Grogan and Jennifer Aniston as Jenny. While acting was convincing, the dramatic age changes as the story travels through the years never changed the appearance of the actors. The dogs used to play Marley aged appropriately, showing the stages a dog experiences in the most effective places in the story. But Wilson and Aniston merely seemed tired, not older, as the camera attempted to emphasize the stresses of life on the two.
Still, the movie brought the audience to laughter and tears at the Twin Towers in Portales. Dog-lovers, especially those that have experienced the loss of a pet, may want to wait to rent this movie to watch at home if embarrassed to cry in the theater. There are parts that will bring back any old memories of childhood pets, for better or worse.
Beautiful scenes of Florida and Pennsylvania grace the screen as well as adorably crafted moments between the Grogans and Marley that bring the audience into their relationships.