by Dan Gibson
Everyone loves a cash-grabbing sequel to a popular (or even semi-popular) film, right? Unfortunately, the idiots behind Marley & Me stuck with the real life story of the dog who taught its owner to live by including (spoiler alert!) the dog's death.
But, wait, why not just go back? When Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston meet Marley, he's a puppy, but there must have been a little bit of time between his birth and that fateful adoption day, right? Oh, and let's just make the dog talk...everyone loves talking dogs:
Fortunately, Twentieth Century Fox has found a way around Grogan’s selfishness with the straight-to-DVD Marley And Me: The Puppy Years, a Godfather Part II-like prequel that will fill in the blanks on all those lost chapters of Marley’s life before he rose to power in the rough-and-tumble hallways of Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston’s unlikely large house. (The film is, oddly enough, co-written and directed by Michael Damian—the former soap star turned “Rock On” singer turned filmmaker specializing in straight-to-video family sequels like Flicka 2.) This prelude returns to a happier time, picking up when Marley is just a “pint-sized pup,” so it lacks a Wilson or Aniston to vocalize their loving frustration with Marley’s rambunctious antics.
But the filmmakers have prepared for that contingency, as Marley not only coincidentally pals around with a “Bodie Grogan” as they conspire to “wreak havoc” on a neighborhood dog contest, he also “now has a frisky voice and an attitude to match,” allowing Marley himself to offer running commentary on his own that-darn-dog-ness. Of course, your enjoyment of said friskiness may be sullied by knowing that, eventually, Marley dies. But then, so do we. So do we.
A few free ideas for Hollywood, along these lines:
The Shining: Jack's Alright With Me - Jack Torrance is an author and teaches at a prep school. He drinks a bit too much. That's about it.
Before The Perfect Storm - Some sailors hang out on the ocean. Make jokes, do whatever sailors do when there isn't a terrible storm.
A Salesman - Follow Willy Loman as he goes door to door selling something. Something funny, hopefully.
Debbie Makes Out With Texarkana - She isn't quite ready to go all the way, but she can still have a good time!