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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Marley & Me

Starts March 5

Journalist John Grogan in his book, Marley & Me, describes an adventurous life with his unruly Labrador retriever. His premise makes way for the collaboration of screenwriters Scott Frank and Don Ross, as well as director David Frankel in their film under the same name: Marley & Me.

Shortly after John (Owen Wilson) and Jen (Jennifer Aniston) wed, they land writing jobs in Florida—John, with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and Jen, at The Palm Beach Post. To celebrate, John presents his beloved with an adorable looking Labrador puppy (Marley). Marley’s adjustment to the human family begins with a battle of the wills against his master to defy obedience at all cost. The days of dog rearing are long and longer.

In the midst of educating Marley, John’s boss Arnie Klein (Alan Arkin), asks him to fill-in as the newspapers columnist for a couple of weeks. He reluctantly agrees because he is a reporter not a columnist. Arnie encourages John to write about something that incorporates drama in his personal life. John writes about the daily mishaps with his nut-case dog, Marley. To his surprise, John’s column increases the newspaper paper sales rapidly and his boss offers him the columnist position. Years later, his collective writings with Marley were a hit. Reminiscent, John Grogan recalls, “At the time, I had no idea our loopy, attention-deficit dog would someday provide me the inspiration to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a book.”

This delightful narrative eloquently communicates that one can be happy and content with the quirkiness of life. It takes guts to present a wholesome, happy life on the silver screen today, especially, featuring the joys of a committed marriage or the love of raising kids or being content in the workplace. Hail to the brave filmmakers and to the production studio for its willingness to show integrity and pass on to its audience good material: topics that make one think, especially about the good things in life.

Unfortunately, this was good enough for me to revisit my husbands request for another Murphy (our dog who died a few months ago). I have to deal with the guilt complex of using the word “Non” communicated to a plea for a cute Border collie puppy needing a home….Yikkes! Thanks guys!

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