David Frankel (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA) delivers another charming comedy. Based on the hit memoir by John Grogan, MARLEY AND ME chronicles the relationship of John (Owen Wilson) and Jen (Jennifer Aniston) as they face the challenges of marriage and work to start a family. By their side is their beloved dog, Marley, who can chew through drywall, got kicked out of obedience school, and never met a leg he didn't like. The cute pup's antics come to signify the unexpected challenges that everyone faces in adulthood, and the film is ultimately a paean to unconditional love; others may see Marley as the 'world's worst dog', but throughout it all, he proves to be the couple's most faithful friend.
MARLEY AND ME plays like a modern day Norman Rockwell portrait with a little more bite, courtesy of the snark-friendly screenwriters and the title's wild mutt. The sets are sumptuous, with every shot lovingly lit to look like a Hallmark card. The winning lead performances help elevate the picture above its feel-good counterparts; Aniston is radiant and Wilson shows off sharp dramatic chops, giving some maturity to his loveable comedic persona. Alan Arkin gives a scene-stealing performance as Wilson's boss, and Kathleen Turner proves to be a great sport with her physically demanding cameo as Marley's obedience instructor. But in the end the picture belongs to the dogs, and for once that's a good thing. A film that keeps the audience cooing, cracking up, and crying, MARLEY AND ME is sure to become a family favourite.