film is exactly what you’d expect — Hollywood’s take on a
family’s love for its dog. I enjoyed it.
One thing some critics have said is that the
book is a little bit less of a Hollywood picture of a
marriage. So that might be a good thing to read, some time when
you need an easy read, or one you can get from the drugstore or
The end of the movie is a tearjerker, but putting down a dog
you love is a difficult decision, and people should have seen
versions of it in other people’s lives. I thought the John Grogan
character’s verbalization of it was apt: Marley, you tell me when
it’s time. And the funeral where the children write letters to
Marley is beautifully done.
Of course the “world’s worst dog” subtitle is completely
unjustified; Marley doesn’t ever do anything that any dog doesn’t
do. The Kathleen Turner dog-trainer turn is brilliant, but not at
all fair to the dog-trainers I’ve known.
The least well-captured aspect of dog-ownership in the movie
was the other dog-owners in the park — my experience is that you
can get a great deal of support for dealing with a difficult dog
(and they’re all difficult sometimes)
from other dog-owners.
Hollywood doesn’t really try for the kind of accurate depiction
of a lifestyle that some of the European and Independant
film-makers do, but they really should have done better in the
scene where Marley decided stairs are too hard, even to sleep with
the family. He lies down in front of a blazing fire, which the
family is just leaving there as they go to bed. I’m sure this
isn’t what the real Grogan family does.
In terms of my personal situation, Sunny is at the stage where
he doesn’t always hear me come in, but he’s still dealing with
stairs. It will be a major decision point if he decides he can’t,
since I can’t carry him, and our apartment starts on the second floor.