A cheerful and heartfelt family film, Marley & Me is a joyful, humorous, and for many pet-owners sad, film about the Grogan family and their dog Marley. A wrecking-ball of destruction and chaos, the dog Marley is still adored by the Grogans, and he stands by them while their lives unravel. Jobs, friends, babies, homes. Marley’s story – based on the best selling book – is told over many years and through many funny anecdotes which remind us that dogs are man’s best friend.
John (Owen Wilson) and Jenny (Jennifer Aniston) Grogan get married in snowy Minnesota, but soon move to sunny Florida as the first thing on Jenny’s list of her plan for life. They both get jobs as reporters at different local newspapers. To fill a void in their lives, or more in Jenny’s, John buys her a puppy at the advice of his charismatic friend Sebastian (Eric Dane). They pick up an adorable Golden Labrador puppy who happens to be the cheapest of the lot for some reason. They name him Marley after his response to a Bob Marley song on the radio, and John puts him in a crate in the garage for the first few nights. Troublesome Marley chews trough the box, as well as through a section of the dry wall, and many other things left in the garage.
As the film continues the Grogan couple attend dog training school, take a trip to Ireland (where they get pregnant), and John takes up a job as a columnist at his newspaper The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a job John never saw himself in. He soon begins to write about his own life, particularly about their adventures with Marley. The family grows to three children, they move to Boca Raton and then to Pennsylvania, the children grow older, as do the parents, as well as their faithful pet Marley.
While Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston may seem staples in the light-romantic comedy genre, they both work well in this movie. Both seem to understand their respective roles well enough to maintain a convincing portrayal of the Grogans, though Jennifer Aniston stands out slightly more in displaying the emotionof having to deal with a family, and a pet like Marley. Overall, Marley & Me is a cheerful and enjoyable film, with plenty of chuckles and some heartfelt moments, it successfully balances genres to make a solid and well-rounded family film.