Marley and Me

Rated PG

Dog movies tend to paint canines as cartoon characters: They destroy things; they save the day by alerting firemen and cops; they prance around to goofy music. A few films, like My Dog Skip and Old Yeller, managed to show dogs as what they truly are: a loved and integral part of the family. Not only can you add this film to the list of “real” movies about dogs; you can put it right on top. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play the Grogans, the owners of Marley, the world’s worst dog. What’s so nice about this movie is that it doesn’t overdo it with the dog shenanigans. Wilson is great, as is Aniston; they make a believable couple, coping with the rigors of raising a family and dealing with a dog that eats sofas. This doesn’t feel like some silly canine caper; it feels true, with real feelings, real people and a dog that seems real (except for the part about eating answering machines).

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