Monday, January 12, 2009

"Marley and Me"

Though Daughter Curmudgeon and I recently brought home our new Puppy Curmudgeon (the Incorrigible puppy), and though he happens to be a yellow lab, we only recently got around to seeing the movie about the yellow lab, "Marley & Me." Apparently yellow labs are the new 'in' dog. Even crusty Clint Eastwood's character in "Gran Torino" has a yellow lab.

As to the movie, it is being publicized as a none-stop laugh fest as stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston bring home their wreck-happy 'clearance puppy' Marley (as in Bob Marley).

Instead what we get is a wistful mediation on the impermanence of life and the fragility of marriage and love. A funny movie, to be sure, but mercifully largely free of the proverbial madcap mayhem and contrived hilarity we've come to expect from Gollywood.

By the end of the movie when Marley's brief life has run its course there is a protracted death scene which approaches maudlin but stops short (like a dog in response to an invisible fence) and in the final analysis the filmmakers earns every one of those sniffles and sobs and moist eyes throughout the audience.

Producers seem to have caught on because as I sit here typing this a re-packaged "Marley and Me" TV commercial just aired which actually said "You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll fall in love." (Gak! Please tell me they were being ironic, or even meta-ironic.)

Go see it anyway.

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