Marley and Me

Last night I did something for the time in ages: I went to the cinema! I say “ages” because the last films I saw in the cinema were Transformers, Harry Potter, The History Boys and Brokeback Mountain…!

But, thanks to some dodgy deal that Jennie did over the internet, not only did I get to spend a great evening with herself and her parents, but we also got free tickets to the film about every dog owner’s worst nightmare: Marley and Me.

A young Marley and the remains of the garage

A young Marley and the remains of the garage

If you don’t like spoilers, stop reading now!

I read Grogan’s book ages ago and laughed and cried, sometimes simultaneously, as I turned the pages, unwilling to put the book down but dreading the inevitable ending.

Marley was a horror, there’s no doubting that, and Mum laughed as she handed me the book. “Here, you’d better read this, it’s about Snipe…”. When she heard about the film, she suggested I write to the producers and offer Snipe’s services as the star!

For the record, Snipe is nowhere near Marley’s league. All she’s chewed in not-quite-two-years are one armchair, one sofa, the gear stick in my car, a roll of bin bags, an empty bottle of bleach, her dog bed and some other stuff that I can’t remember. She has never (I’m jinxing things now) chewed clothes, shoes, doors, walls or electrical equipment.

I digress. The point I wanted to make is that I loved the book and, as with all books I love, dread the inevitable transformation from page to silver screen. I’ve only just forgiven Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings and that’s only because (a) the films are fantastic and (b) he’s an even bigger fan of Tolkein than me. THAT scene from Pride and Prejudice still bugs me although it occurred to me this morning that I would probably feel slightly differently had Miss Bennet emerged dripping from the lake instead of Mr Darcy… Shame it was to be several years after it was on TV that I figured that one out!!

I digress once more. Where was I? Ah yes: the dreaded “adaptation”. I wasn’t sure Marley and Me would work as a film, especially once I heard that they’d cast Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. No offence to the pair but that’s not how I pictured the Grogans. Wilson’s a bit grungy and Aniston’s too Hollywood.

So it’s unlikely that I would have ever watched the film, had it not been for Jennie and her online wheeling and dealing!

And my verdict?

I loved it.

I laughed (and it was only the presence of other people that stopped me howling).

I gasped in horror.

And I sobbed like a baby.

An older Marley destroys the Grogans' first-ever snowman!

An older Marley destroys the Grogans' first-ever snowman!

Wilson and Aniston were fantastic, the casting director managed to do that rare thing and found some kids who could actually act and the Marleys of all ages were, as you’d expect, brilliant. And, best of all, the film, was so strong that the changes didn’t matter. Not when they did things like going to the effort to make sure that the box they used as a bed for Marley’s first night was the same as the one in the Grogans’ photo of the real Marley in his real box.

The closing scenes were an emotional roller-coaster for all the audience and there were sniffles and sobs coming from every corner of the cinema. No doubt, like me, they were remembering dogs of old and dreading the inevitable parting with dogs of today. When we left the cinema, all I wanted to do was rush home to see Snipe and Midge, to give them hugs and belly rubs, and hold on to them tight, as every moment with our pets is too short but very precious.

Jo and Midge - 1 March 2009

Jo and Midge - 1 March 2009

Snipe - 3 February 2009

Snipe - 3 February 2009

I highly recommend Marley and Me – just remember to take some tissues!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t think I can see this, I’ve got tears in my eyes now – just thinking about how bloomin’ sad I was reading the book. Stupidly someone gave it to me to read only a few months after we lost Sammy Boy who was 16, deaf and blind – bless ‘im.

    Oh well – off to feel a tad blubby!

  2. I’m not normally this pathetic… honest…

  3. I made the mistake of thinking about the film as I was driving to the farm this morning, had to focus on the funny stuff to cheer me up.

    Pets, especially dogs, give their all to their humans: I figure that getting blubby about them is the least we can do to pay them back.

  4. Yep, tears are definately a tribute…..

    I have only browsed the book in a store, and I cried……

    ( sad blubby cw here!)

  5. I will have to wait until it is out on DVD as I know both my daughter and I will be weeping like babies. We have a difficult time ahead in the next few years with our beloved Garak (the vet says tweleve months but Garak isn’t listening). How I wish doggie years were human years, Margaret

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