We went to the cinema last night. We actually wanted to see the Benjamin Buttons movie but it was booked out so we ended up watching Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston in Marley and Me.

The movie was based on a novel, Marley & Me, about the experiences of a journalist (or rather columnist) and his wife, when they first get a Labrador pup for a pet, in part to prepare themselves for a later family. Anyone who has had a Labrador (the only breed of dog to remain always a puppy) will find many scenes reminiscent of their own experience with that type of dog.

I must admit that perhaps the funniest performance in the movie comes from Kathleen Turner as Miss Dominatrix, the dog trainer. Watching her antics as she tries to show that a firm hand is all that is needed to take the role of Alpha dog in the home pack had tears of laughter running down my face as I remembered the efforts of teaching Jessie, our Labrador for many years, how to behave. Marley also reminded me much of the Labs of a couple of our friends.

As the movie progresses though it moistens the eye, not so much from laughter as from what is inevitable. We can see it, we know it is coming and there is no way the script writers could disguise the ultimate scenes, but even with that foreknowledge, it still endeared a feeling of pathos reminiscent of the dog story style of movies from the past.

This is a movie I’d recommend seeing as a feel good movie with a mix of comedy and pathos. In some respects, I am glad that Benjamin Button was booked out and that as a result we did have to see this movie.

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