I saw the movie Marley & Me the night before last. I feel the need to call my mom and tell her to wait until it comes out on video before she watches it. Don't misunderstand me--I'm not going to tell her that because I thought the movie was bad, but because I don't know if she would be able to hold it together in the theater. (I sure couldn't.)
First of all, I'm partial to labs. There's something about that sweet face and those soft, floppy, triangle ears that gets me every time. My family has had two black lab mixes and my brother, Keith, now owns a smaller dog which is probably part black lab. As I'm sure you all know, the dog in the movie is a yellow lab. Totally adorable. I was a little surprised they didn't show as many puppy scenes as I would have expected. Maybe test audiences we're "awwwww"ing for too long that they had to limit the number of scenes with Marley as a puppy. I personally experienced the very vocal "awwww"s of the people around me in the theater. (I may have let one or two slip, myself.) Marley is a stinker, but he's so loveable at the same time. I am smitten with the dog in this movie.
The second thing I liked about the film is how real some of the scenes were. I watched it thinking, "Ooh. I hope I don't turn out to be the kind of wife and mother Jenny is in this scene." Yet, her portrayal of just how hard it can be to juggle a career, a home, young kids, a crazy pet, and a marriage was probably much more accurate than the way I tend to imagine it. She didn't hide her humanity, and neither did her husband, John. I was intrigued by John's sense of yearning for a different set of circumstances for his life, and I was pleased when he ultimately realized that what he had was indeed the best fit for him. At times, the people around him knew better than he did what he was best for, or what was best for him.
No, this movie isn't going to win any Oscars, but it was heart-felt and enjoyable. Bring Kleenex.