Sunday, January 11, 2009



I take all responsibility for not educating myself on this movie before going to see it. I watch commercials--so sue me. Sunday afternoons after church and dinner, I often take the kids to a movie. This one was mentioned, so why not? I took an eleven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy. Mistake.

It was released Christmas week, so I'm thinking it's for kids. It's not. The commercials made it look like fun. It's not. Oh, there are lighthearted moments that tear past at the speed of light. However, it's more a commentary on this true person who wrote the book (yes, I know it was a book, and no, I didn't read it, my bad) a hashing over of the near-regrets about decisions he makes in his life: Marrying, taking a job, having kids, etc.. The only thing he never regrets is getting the awful dog. And he really only did that to appease his wife in hopes she wouldn't want a baby. What a guy.

I am so sad about the lovely Kathleen Turner whom I want to remember Romancing the Stone on Michael Douglas's arm, not as an overweight crankpot being--well--crudely jumped upon by a male dog. I will try hard to forget that.

Many up-close scenes about trying to have a baby, getting pregant, using the urine stick, having a miscarriage, about having a baby, stack up to not-so-much fun to watch and are IMHO painful for kids to sit through.

And the years rush by, the actor dogs change and Marley gets old and yep, he dies. A long drawn out death. We see murder/death/kill solution (anyone seen Demolition Man lately? now there's a laugh) is placed in the dog's IV as we watch. We see the dog close his eyes for the last time. We see the owners' reactions in detail, we see the kids' reactions. We see the grave; we see more than we want to see, trust me.

We all wipe our sorry noses on our salty popcorn napkins and leave. My first phone call is to my daughter, LeighAnn the dog lover, warning her to NEVER ever watch this movie.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather have gone back to Australia one more time while it's in the theater. And the kids would have LIKED it!


  1. Cheryl, so sorry you didn't know in advance about the movie and took young children... yikes. The book is one of the most honest, funny, but moving memoirs I have read for a while - and that doesn't come across anywhere near as much in the movie. May I encourage you to read the book itself - it won't take long; it may make you look at the movie with a more positive view.

  2. Cheryl I am so glad someone else thought the same as I did. We made it a big family thing with the nieces and god son there was 11 of us and we were all ready for a good family movie that is NOT what we got I thought there were places in there that kids don't need to see. Plus we all cried so much it was not funny I wished I would have not seen the movie I felt terrible after I seen it and the kids kepy asking me questions about things that happened in the moive not that I am affraid to explain things to them but I didn't think the girls needed to know what a miscarrige is yet it life they haven't even started their periods. Maybe it was just me, but they were all so upset over the dog dying that it took a long time to settle them down once they got home and would not leave the dog alone. I am sure he was wondering what the heck happened.
    I thought the way they promoted that movie was to the WHOLE family..

  3. Who, who, who markets these movies??? Who sets them up as fun loving and cutsie when they are not? Thank you for the warning.

    I almost took my kids to this also. I did worry a little because some of the commercials showed Jennifer Aniston talking about getting pregnant - and I worried it would turn into "I'm a man and I didn't want to have kids and you made me and now I see all the dreams I gave up to have kids but they're cute I guess and I suppose it was all worth it even though I had to give up my life."

    I mean, guess what, we mothers give up a few things too! And some men really love kids and WANT to have children.

    We need more women screenwriters. And not women screenwriters who write about cat-fight-weddings. Women who write about real issues.

    Phew. You really hit a button :)

  4. If the book fell into my lap I might read it, but I won't go looking. I probably woundn't have disliked the movie so much if I had caught it on HBO one day, you know? but I paid good money and could have seen something more uplifting.

    Thanks, Brenda! Glad it's not just me, but sorry you had the sme experience.

  5. << "I'm a man and I didn't want to have kids and you made me and now I see all the dreams I gave up to have kids but they're cute I guess and I suppose it was all worth it even though I had to give up my life." >.

    You pretty much hit it there, Rebecca. Adding, "But gee, I had my dog and now he's dead."

    And they didn't even end with a new puppy, which I was waiting, no HOPING for.

  6. <<"But gee, I had my dog and now he's dead.">>

    That's the defining moment!

  7. Thanks for the heads up on the film!!! My kids want to see it too--it's a cute puppy movie (or at least it's how it appears on TV).

    Might I tell you and your readers about my favorite movie review site? It's

    Marly & Me got a 5.4.4 on this site. 5 of 10 for Sex/Nudity, 4 for violence/gore and 4 for profanity. Many of my friends think this site is a little over the top b/c they will even count a peck on the cheek in the background as a mark towards sex/nudity. The 5 tips me off it wouldn't be for my kids.

    Hope that helps you in the future.

  8. I am SO glad you posted your thoughts, Cheryl! I have not seen this movie and don't intend to. I can't stand movies where the family pet dies (this goes all the way back to Old Yeller), and you gave me even more reason to not go. I do appreciate that the book could be better, though.

    My son wanted to take me to a movie the week after Christmas and suggested Marley & Me, thinking I would like it. I knew enough about the book ending to say no thanks. We saw Four Christmases instead and loved it!