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:: Marley & Me

‘Marley And Me’ could well be the surprise hit of this summer as it breaks out of the ‘Romantic Comedy’ genre that it has been billed as and becomes a Romantic Drama that will see plenty of tears shed in cinemas right around the world. In the screening I attended even the hardest of film critics were letting the tears fall.

The film tells the story of John Grogan (Owen Wilson) and his wife, Jennifer (Jennifer Aniston) who move to South Florida so Jennifer can take a job as a journalist with one of the top newspapers. Meanwhile John takes a job with a small newspaper where his best friend Sebastian (Eric Dane) also works. When John becomes concerned that Jennifer will soon want children Sebastian tells him to buy her a dog. The couple buys Marley, a Labrador puppy whose behavior shocks even a hardened dog trainer (played by Kathleen Turner). And while Marley’s behavior never improves they soon begin to realise that all you need to know about life you can learn from your dog.

Even describing ‘Marley And Me’ makes it sound like a romantic comedy but it’s not. Scott Frank and Don Roos make sure they lose nothing from the drama portrayed in Josh Grogan’s novel while David Frankel makes sure that the audience is taken on an emotional journey that leaves you completely fulfilled. This film goes into the very depths of what makes a family; the tragedies, the happiness and everything in between. The thing that makes this film is the script and characters allow the audience to go on the emotional rollercoaster with them. And if you are a pet lover then this film will speak you to a whole lot more.

The biggest surprise is the performances from both Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, both of which could lay claim to this being the best film they have ever appeared in. Wilson plays the dramatic parts of the movie remarkably well and shows that he has more than just comedy in his acting-range, while Aniston plays the comedic moments well and calls upon the dramatic skills she has picked up doing films like ‘Rock Star’ and ‘Derailed’.

‘Marley And Me’ has to be one of the biggest surprises of this summer, I haven’t seen a drama that has the power to emotionally affect so many people with such a long time… this is a film that will stick with you for a long time after the credits have finished.