Marley & Me (PG)

DOGS are dominating our cinema screens at the moment. Hot on the heels of Bolt and Hotel for Dogs, comes comedy MARLEY & ME (PG), in which the pooches manage to outshine Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Newlyweds John and Jenny start a new life in Florid

DOGS are dominating our cinema screens at the moment. Hot on the heels of Bolt and Hotel for Dogs, comes comedy MARLEY & ME (PG), in which the pooches manage to outshine Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

Newlyweds John and Jenny start a new life in Florida, landing jobs as journalists on rival local newspapers.

But when they start talking about whether they should start a family, John is uncertain.

Are they ready for the commitment of raising children?


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John's friend Sebastian comes up with the perfect way to find out - get a puppy.

How hard can it be to look after a dog?

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So the Grogans adopt a small, cuddly Labrador who, in no time, grows into 100lbs steamroller who turns their home into a disaster area.

He fails obedience school, takes a bite out of the sofa, overturns the dustbins, steals a Thanksgiving turkey, consumes pillows and flowers and drinks water out of the toilet.

Amid the mayhem he generates through the years, Marley sees the Grogans through the ups and downs of family life - job and home changes, and the births of their children.

And the couple come to realise that the world's worst dog brings out the best in them.

The film is based on a book by John Grogan. He says: "When I wrote it, I didn't think of it as a dog book, and I still don't.

"I saw it as a growth-of-a-family story, with the dog being the catalyst. It's a comedy with a poignant side to it."

Aniston adds: "Marley & Me is about marriage and balancing family and career. It's about all of the things that affect so many people in relationships.

"You think it's a story about a mischievous dog - and it is - but it's so much more than that."

And what about the old adage for actors, never work with animals or children?

Aniston says: "We had babies, puppies, children, adult dogs, old dogs, kids - and we all had a ball."

Twenty-two dogs were used to portray Marley as he ages 13 years. Eleven of them were puppies and were needed because the film scenes were shot out of sequence and a puppy used in one scene would have grown too much to be used again in a scene shot weeks later.

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