Sunday, January 04, 2009

Marley and Me

The trailer was deceiving. Even with the PG rating, it looked so adorable I took my grand girls thinking it was a great holiday movie classic in the making, something like Willie Morris' "My Dog Skip." Turns out the girls survived the ending much better than I did, not ever having buried a dog at their tender ages. I tried to hide my tears, hoping they wouldn't notice. I wasn't alone in my response to the tear jerker. The dead silence in the bathroom after the movie was telling.

While there were many hilarious moments in the movie which all of us could relate to, the girls have an over grown lab a lot like Marley, and every dog I've ever owned was just as uncontrollable and ill mannered as Marley, the movie with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston was much deeper than the humor broadcast to lure viewers into the theater. John Grogan's autobiographical story of a family in the making portrays how we become dependent on the love our dog friends give us, no matter how misguided we might think they are, especially considering we are the ones supposedly doing the guiding. It is a fate we must endure if we are to give our love to a dog, that we will probably outlive them. I've even had people tell me it was so upsetting to bury their dog, that they'll never own another one.

One of the most amazing moments in the movie was a scene with Kathleen Turner as an intimidating dog trainer. I can remember seeing her in the movie "Body Heat" early in her career with William Hurt as a smoking hot babe. Even her role as a transvestite in Friends did not surpass the extreme of her cameo role as a bruiser dog trainer.

Am I sorry I went to see Marley and Me? A little bit. It really brought forward the reminder of my own dog's mortality, but I am better for having known Marley.--Ruth Mitchell

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