Monday, December 29, 2008
"Marley and Me" Yesterday, on Sunday, I went to see a matinee in Niantic, "Marley and Me," opting out of morning mass, because I had a serious stomach virus, which dissipated enough for me to take in an afternoon show. I'm having a hard time writing this, so I may not get done today. I just want to get it out there so I can come back to it. I always finish what I start. Fortunately, my stomach virus is going away, so I must be making the right decision! :) (Whatever it takes!!) What I expected to be a funny movie first turned out to be a seemingly bland commentary on how mediocre married life can be! However, as the movie progressed, some depth was revealed. Not so shallow, like the pool and the house in Florida! Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson played a couple who got engaged and married, "all the trappings." Very boring to me, unlike "4 Christmases." The wife felt something was missing from their staid lives, both as writers for a newspaper in Florida, "the perfect couple," blond and beautiful, good jobs, great neighborhood, etc. So they got a dog. While driving in the car in the Florida suburb, reggae music played on the radio and that is where the dog got his name, "Marley," for Bob Marley!! The dog seemed to do all the wrong things. Bumbling, he chewed up the furniture, defecated frequently in the backyard or other places, ate mangoes (which didn't help), embarrassed his master by doing his duty in the ocean when he was unleashed (which ruined it for all the other dogs and the police came!) Eric Dane, who I remember from the TV drama series, "Charmed" played Owen Wilson's best friend. A carefree, but ambitious sort, who vacationed in tropical paradises with a babe on each arm. Wrote freelance for the New York times, covered illegal drug trades and the like until he was offered a full time position at the Times! Of course, he didn't understand how Owen could be happy with his wife, the dog, and eventually three small children in a crowded house in the Florida suburbs and often questioned his friend about his lifestyle. Anniston got what she wanted. She liked her job, but quit to be a full time, stay at home mom. The movie revealed unexpected depth for me when Anniston first found out she was pregnant. Upon having an ultrasound, it was revealed the baby had no heartbeat. She became so depressed and despondent. I could relate, as it can be dark reality for almost any woman when she finds out she can't have kids. For whatever reason. Finally, she does get pregnant and gives birth to a healthy child. But then comes the post partum depression! Another surprise for me in the movie was that I came to like Owen's boss. Older, he seemed a little tough at first, told it like it was, brutally honest in the initial interview at the Florida newspaper. But he understood women and post partum depression, as he was married!! He told Owen to "buy her a gift" when she became overweight, bloated, nauseous, that "there was no glow," and she would say, "You did this to me!!" He also said that his wife once held a hatchet to his head during post partum depression. Owen started by covering methane and propane leaks, fires, etc. His boss assigned him to write a column one week and that was it! Normal, every day stuff, about the dog, the kids, life in suburban Florida and it was a hit! His boss told him this is what he should be doing and he doubled his salary. For some reason, though, Owen was never satisfied. He started complaining when he turned 40 about the over population of high rise condos in Florida, the crime, the stabbing that took place in his own backyard, the hunger problem, etc. His boss sagely said, "That happens everywhere. Do what you do best. You're a great columnist." I felt very bad to see Owen leave his job at his wife's urging and move to the country outside Philadelphia to take a more "important" job at a newspaper there. His boss, a terse black man told him to write "less you, more facts." Owen remained unhappy because he felt his boss went through all of his writing with a fine-tooth comb. Can you see why I would feel extreme hate for the personality of this particular boss?? At the end, the family dog Marley becomes ill. As the audience realizes the end is near, there is a lot of sniffling and pent up emotion. An overly quiet movie theater during emotional scenes is one of my worst scenarios. Why can't people just cry out loud? (Like the Italians do?) Anyway, I was able to reign in my emotions, even during the final scene, after Marley's passing, burial, and memorial service, which the family held in their backyard and included their three children. At the very end of the movie, Owen says: "A dog doesn't care about fancy cars, designer clothes, luxury homes. You give him your heart and he loves you for who you are. How many people can you say that about? How many people can appreciate you for the rare, beautiful person you are?" I got to my car. I sensed Paula there. I know she was telling me to sit there and wait. I cried and cried, saying, "I know you're here Paula! I know you're here." I knew because after we saw the movie, "King Kong" about three years ago, she knew how uncomfortable I was with the treatment of this majestic animal. And she purposely pushed my buttons so that I would yell at her and let it out! On the way home, I chose to take the highway, so that I could drive by her house. Again.