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A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?—John Grogan
The story of newspaper columnist John Grogan, his wife and children and their manic Labrador Retriever Marley, the 2005 book became an unexpected success particularly amongst pet owners. It was made into The Film of the Book in 2008, with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as the protagonists.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: John and Jenny Grogan are NOT unattractive people. . .but they don't look like Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston either.
- Adult Puppy
- Big Friendly Dog
- Bowdlerise: When numerous children expressed interest in the book, John Grogan put out a child- friendly version, eliminating the more adult content, namely the, er, frank discussion of marital relations (not just their sex life, but Jenny's miscarriage, problems with her second pregnancy and post-partum depression, etc.)
- Canis Major
- Deadpan Snarker: Jen has her moments.
- Death by Newbery Medal: It sure as hell feels like this, but Marley was actually Doomed by Canon.
- The Film of the Book
- In Name Only: The sequel, which is just an Air Buddies clone.
- It Will Never Catch On: In a scene set in the early '90s, Jennifer Aniston writes about the efficiency of voting machines. Did we mention this is set in Florida?
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Marley seems to be the canine version of this, although some of his actions suggest that he isn't really a jerk -- just not that bright.
- Law of Inverse Fertility
- Let's Get Dangerous: Marley is usually a happy-go-lucky, energetic, not-too bright dog. However, when a neighbor gets stabbed, he goes straight into guard dog mode. John Grogan later starts to wonder why he ever doubted Marley's protective capabilities
- Keet: Marley
- Never Trust a Trailer: This is not, repeat not, a slapsticky dog comedy for the kiddies.
- Averted with the one for the sequel. That one is the slapsticky dog comedy for the kiddies.
- The Nineties: The film's early scenes are set in the early '90s - note the outdated technology and the reference to Desert Storm
- However one scene in the mid `90s has the mother put on a Bob the Builder VHS for the kid. The show wouldn't come to America at least until 2001.
- Real Life Relative: Owen Wilson's real parents play his character's parents.
- The Red Stapler: Hard to say. On one hand, the movie absolutely makes you love dogs no matter what. On the other hand, the movie is more for people who already have dogs and can relate to the experiences, and it doesn't really portray the main dog as an animal that's easy to take care of, keep out of trouble, and train.
- Slice of Life
- Timeshifted Actor: Done with the children. Conspicuously averted with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, who seem to remain ageless as their characters go from being a young couple to middle-aged parents.
- Right Now Montage: Used with the John Grogan character, showing him doing different things and writing about them and at the same getting to know Marley.