Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marley & Me & Why You Can't Truly Make An Accurate Dog Movie

I've had dogs most of my life. I had an Irish Setter named Corky, I had a Cocker Spaniel named Morky (guess what sitcom was popular during that time?) and I had a Chow named Saki. I now have a lab named Zeus Snowball. He has two separate names because both my children wanted to name him. He is a white lab, only I'm told by "dog people" that there's really no such thing as a white lab, they're known as golden labs. Well, la-dee-da. I put "dog people" in quotes because I am not a "dog person." A "dog person" cannot tell the difference between an animal and a person. A "dog person" refers to their dogs as children. A "dog person" spends time with their dogs and other "dog people" at doggie play dates. I am not one of those people. I like my dog. I would say he's a "gooooo boy." I have no idea why I drop the "d" when I say that, but I do. But my dog is just that... a dog. He is not a person. If I go away on a vacation, I wouldn't say I would miss him. I'm always glad to see him, but you would never hear me say "enough with this beautiful weather and white sand, get me back home to my dog." I do not have a wallet full of pictures of my dog. And if I did, and I showed a picture of my dog to you, I would not try to explain what my dog was thinking at that moment.

Okay, I think I've established that I'm not a "dog person."

All that said, I don't shy away from dog movies. I liked that one with Frankie Munitz and the dog. I grew up with Benji. And I love Snoopy. So I wouldn't say that I was adverse to Marley & Me. I was actually kind of surprised that I enjoyed it a bit. But it suffers from what most dog movies suffer from. And that is a lack of reality.

The movie is filled with much Marley hi jinx. Marley shits in the ocean. He eats things he shouldn't. He destroys furniture. He jumps out the window of the car. All of this is treated like a bad sitcom mostly due to the lack of any real anger towards the dog. After each mishap, I kept on expecting the frame to freeze and type to appear that read "That's our Marley" followed with canned laughter and applause.

There is a scene where John and Jennifer Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston) walk in on Marley tearing up the couch (I think for the second time) and their reaction is nothing. No yelling. No shoo-ing. No putting the dog in a small box for a couple of weeks. Nothing. What happened to rolling up a newspaper and swatting the dog on the nose? Well it's obvious that you can't make a kid's movie that involves grown-ups beating the shit out of the dog. But then again, you can't make a real one either. Tell me you wouldn't put your foot up the ass of your dog if he ate your furniture over and over again. Or at least do some yelling. Or some foot stomping. Maybe you wouldn't. And maybe that explains why I'm not a "dog person. "


Tommy Salami said...

I want the Dog Whisperer to review this movie, then lock the owners in a room and go "tssh!" at them for a few hours.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like the idea of putting dogs in small boxes for a number of weeks, especially some of the ones around here who bark all night.

Fox said...

Marley shits in the ocean. He eats things he shouldn't. He destroys furniture. He jumps out the window of the car.

That sounds like Rick Olson whenever he leaves his house.

Dog movies are too hard for me b/c inevitably the dog is gonna die and I just can't handle canine death. It's too rough.

Greg said...

I just wanted to say Cheap Wow Gold since no one else has yet. We both know it's coming, I just wanted to be the first.

PIPER said...


I had Rick over for dinner last week and he was marking his territory all over. It was super annoying. Now he thinks he can come over whenever he wants.


Hopefully the super scanning machine that Cheap Wow Gold uses will read that Cheap Wow Gold already exists in the comments of this post and they will just bypass it. Now if only we could start writing in Japanese. Then ed would steer clear as well.

Megan said...

Darn. I just had to go check your fb photos, and, nope. No dog. I was so hoping there'd be one of the dog...

PIPER said...


Just for you, I took a photo of Zeus last night and I'm going to upload him on to Facebook. The things I do...


I did not see the ending of Marley & Me for that very reason. Can't do dead dogs. Dead people, I'm fine with. Find the irony in that.