Quick Impression: Marley and Me

I started writing this as a review…but really, it become more of a stream of thoughts about pets and life in general…


The other movie I saw in Australia, when catching up with a friend. I distinctly remember it being a choice between Benjamin Button and this, if only because I read or heard somewhere that the box-office battle between two former lovers had been won by the lady… In the end, it came down to time. Weighing in at over 3 hours, Benjamin Button was something we decided we probably didn’t want to sit through. In hindsight though, given that both of us have dogs who are showing signs of old age, I wonder whether it was wise of us to see this one…

Getting back to the point, Marley and me is a story about the worst dog in the world, which was orginally recorded by owner John Grogan in the memoir of the same name. “The worst dog is the world”…a heavy title indeed, and I’m sure there is many a dog-owner who has thought the same thing at one time or another. (On my part, I haven’t, although there were at least two incidents that could have warranted something approaching that label…) But surpassing Marley’s accomplishments – from the ripping apart the garage, swallowing a precious gift, getting kicked out of dog school because even the trainer couldn’t manage, not to mention taking a pooh on a doggy beach, an act that could result in the entire beach being shut down! – will take an incredibly insane mutt.

But as all dog-lovers will attest, such trials are nothing compared to the blessings that a dog brings to a family. When Marley approaches the end of his eventful life, the family grieves for a dog that not only provided John with countless stories that reached the many readers of his column, but also gave them a listening ear when they needed it.

Marley’s story also touches upon the importance of slowing down and finding what is important in a world that is steadily accelerating. Looking at the choices the Grogans made – with Jenny giving up her job, and John sacrificing his dream to become a frontline reporter – they ultimately chose family over career, whilst John’s friend flies high but remains single. Admittedly, this is another ideal, as there are many people whom need to work multiple jobs just to support their families. Nor is a family the be-all and end-all, as friends, people/animals in need or even a particular cause can be very fulfilling to different people. Thinking about this story again, however, I eventually want to live in a place where I can be with a companion such as Marley.

Hm…the humans really disappeared into the woodwork, huh? Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston were actually pretty good – earnest, natural and above all, they had good chemistry. But for me, the many dogs that played Marley were the stars of the film.

p.s. I read an article about relieving stress yesterday, and one of the recommendations was to play with your cat or dog. Whether pets understand what you say or not can never be verified, but there’s nothing quite like running your hands through your pet’s fur and having them squirm happily around to try and lick your face. Is it really, like the article claimed, giving love without expecting anything in return? Well, anything material at least. However, the satisfaction that comes with lounging or playing around with your pet is priceless.

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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