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Marley & Me

by on April 1, 2009
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marley-and-me-2It’s not all that difficult to find the faults of “Marley and Me,” the sugary-sweet tale of a married couple and their rambunctious canine.

It’s the star power.

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as John and Jennifer Grogan, real people who are recounting the true story of “the worst dog in the world,” a status that, while it’s a gross exaggeration, is also meant ironically, because otherwise why would we be watching a movie about him?

But Wilson and Aniston and their movie star need for screen time and individual subplots bog down this tale of doggie love, and by the time the kids arrive about half way through, it’s easy to see we’re getting the abridged version of the story. The kids literally go from infants to toddlers to preteens in but a few minutes of screentime, while subplots involving Wilson’s career moves (including a relocation from southern Florida to Pennsylvania) are shoehorned in.

It doesn’t help that the leads are so vanilla they’re practically begging for some chocolate syrup, which of course we get in the film’s weepy finale. They’re almost morose, and Wilson in particular ambles about without that usual twinkle in his eye.

It’s all so rushed, we hardly feel like we’ve had time to get to know our characters, other than Wilson and Aniston (and maybe the always-spectacular Alan Arkin), that is.

The DVD extras vary depending on whether you buy the one- or two-disc DVD version or the Blu Ray disc version. Deleted scenes and a rather humorless gag reel span across all versions, while director commentary, a variety of featurettes and a digital copy dot the 2-disc DVD. The Blu Ray disc throws in a dog training trivia track and additional featurettes.

Rating: 2 1/2 Yaps out of five