Marley & Me
The movie version of John Grogan’s best-selling memoir lacks a crucial ingredient: any sense of what made its hero different from every other table-smashing, necklace-swallowing dogzilla on Earth. Marley never develops a personality beyond generic mutt-goes-nuts antics. Without that crucial spark of soul, all director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) delivers is a Beethoven movie with less shedding. The career changes, family crises and midlife moping of human leads Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston relegate Marley to a lifestyle accessory in his own biopic. Apart from Aniston’s sick anticipation of a sonogram reading (a moment that belongs in another, better movie) and a depiction of postpartum stress close enough for Advil, Marley & Me proves lifeless. By the time Marley goes off-leash to that great dog beach in the sky, you can bet there won’t be a dry rug in the house.