Marley & Me David Frankel

Marley & Me David Frankel
He's what every pet owner fears when they first decide to get a dog, and there is a moment in Marley & Me where John and Jennifer Grogan have their pick of the litter before they select the titular character, who they're told is the "clearance puppy." Oh, the foreshadowing. Everyone at some point believes they have "the world's worst dog," but Marley is a definite candidate. Based on John Grogan's best-selling book, Marley & Me tells the story of the Grogans (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), a married couple who both write for Miami newspapers and one day decide to get a Golden Lab puppy. From there, John and Jenny's life is turned upside down by Marley, who eats the sofa, some drywall and humps a militant dog instructor (Kathleen Turner). But this isn't another case of dog defeats humans like we saw (or hopefully didn't) in the dreadful Beethoven movies. Instead, the movie follows the Grogans as John, who always dreamt of being a jet-setting reporter, reluctantly accepts a promotion to write his own column, which, as you can guess, is filled with Marley horror stories that make him a hit. They also build a family, which Marley adapts to in his own way, but not without everyone struggling to cope with the hardships. The story makes an endearing statement about learning to let go of your youth and enjoy the simpler things in life, and it's rare to find that not only in something that stars a canine but in most movies these days. Unfortunately, Frankel avoided the commentary but there are quite a few substantial deleted scenes, including more footage from when they pick Marley, which foreshadows the terror that he will be, and pivotal moments where Marley helps catch a criminal and John teaches the pup how to pee in the backyard (I can't believe they cut that bit). A featurette on training the dogs shows the three labs: Jonah, the calm one who can fake pee; Clyde, the wild child; and Rudy, the older, antisocial dog. "Breaking the Golden Rule" shows how a film with both children and dogs can go right, with Frankel adding, "dogs are the easiest actors to work with." Best of all though is a selection of Purina Dog Chow videos featuring extraordinary pets doing tricks. Plus: featurettes, bloopers. (Fox)