No Pass for Marley

The dog ownership memoir Marley & Me from FOX 2000 Pictures, which opened in theaters Christmas Day, may turn out to be the top grossing family movie of the holiday season. The movie is based on the book by journalist John Grogan. Grogan is played by Owen Wilson. Also starring are Jennifer Aniston and the 22 yellow Labradors it took to collaborate to play the role of the energetic Marley. SPOILER ALERT …

Shop for this book at Amazon.com (audio CD edition is pictured)

audio book CD cover

The crux: Marley was a pain in the ass a lot of the time, but Grogan and his family loved him and now that he is gone, they miss him dearly. Although the movie is primarily a comedy, there is obviously a tearjerker aspect to it. James Berardinelli, my favorite online movie critic, uses the tag line “Three hankies, minimum” for his review.

Not all audience members will be moved to tears, of course. What may surprise the filmmakers is that not all those whose eyes remain dry are the kind of people rarely moved to tears by sad scenes in movies. For some there are other reasons to keep the tissues in storage.

Consider the Marley & Me movie going experience of a member of my extended family and owner of two dogs:

When Marley died everybody in the theater was crying. But I didn’t cry — because I didn’t like that dog.

Take that, Marley!

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