MARLEY & ME (David Frankel). 115 minutes. Opens December 25. Rating: NNN
Marley & Me feeds on the sentimental dog lover in you. That can become unapologetically manipulative, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't choke me up.
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play the Grogans, a newlywed couple who can't keep their Labrador on his leash. Marley is a cute and cuddly wrecking ball that spends the better part of 13 years tearing away at the furniture and appliances before swinging out the door, or window, for more public mayhem.
Based on John Grogan's bestselling memoir, the movie seldom holds our interest when it strays from Marley's leaping, humping and howling antics. This is mostly because the generic Grogans, save for a humanizing bout with postpartum depression, suffer generic problems.
But as a no-bullshit boss, Alan Arkin capably competes with Marley at chewing up the scenery.