Marley and Me
By John Grogan

Marley and Me tells a story of life with the "worlds worst dog". John Grogan, the author and narrator of the story adopts Marley for Jenny, his wife's, birthday. Marley starts out as a roly-poly little puppy, who quickly grows into almost 100 pounds of pure muscle. Marley charges through life with so much enthusiasm, whether he is being expelled from obedience
school, shutting down public beaches or devouring fine jewelry. Although Marley has his "moments" he is a very compassionate, sweet and brave dog. Marley stands by the Grogans through the hard times, when Jenny has a miscarriage or when she was going through post pardon depression after Conor is born, he is always there as a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. When the Grogan's neighbor gets stabbed, Marley is guarding her, like a majestic soldier. No matter what the circumstances are, Marley is somewhere in every single day of the Grogan's lives and you could tell he was very loved.

Marley and Me the movie is pretty faithful to Marley and Me the book. There are only a couple things added or cut that I think made a difference. The scene where Marley guards the stabbing victim in the driveway is a scene that didn't make the final cut in the movie. I really like that part because it showed how sweet lovable Marley can turn into a ferocious guard dog in a matter of seconds. Another scene that is cut, is the scene during the fist snowfall when Marley and John are riding on a sled together down the hill and all the way into the woods. This part really shows the strong bod between Marly and John. There are also some things that are added to this movie, that I feel are not entirely necessary. John's friend Sebastian is in the movie almost too much. He shows up in at least half the movie when I don't even remember him in the book. I can see where the director was trying to go, with the contrast between John and him, but I feel that Sebastian took away from too much of the plot. With him in a little less of the movie, I feel like the watcher can understand the contrast without feeling overloaded

I feel that Marley and Me the movie is successful as an adaptation. The characters are funny and the plot is interesting. The director did a great job filming the time lapse because the book spans over thirteen years and the movie only has two hours to fit everything in. The director does not capture the ending of the movie as well as it could have been done. Marley dying goes on for twenty minutes and leaves the watchers with a sad, empty pit in their stomachs. The book ends with the Grogan family reminiscing on good times with Marley and concluded with John and Jenny going to purchase another labrador puppy. Other than the ending, I love Marley and Me as a movie. Marley acts hilarious, rambunctious and sweet all at the same time. Although, if I had not read the book, it would have been better. Sometimes I feel that Marley takes a backseat to John's job and John and Jenny's relationship. This doesn't take away from the movie too much because this really only happens during very small portions of the movie. Most of the time, Marley is standing faithfully at his owner's sides, or creating catastrophic messes behind their backs. All in all, Marley and Me is very emotional as a book as well as an adaptation movie.

Marley and Me is great whether it was a book or a movie, but if someone was to read or watch only one, I would have them read the book. While reading the book, the reader really feels as though they are experiencing everything with the Grogan family. When the Grogan's laugh, they laugh, and when they cry, the reader cries. The strong sense of emotions in this book is something that makes it so special. The viewer does feel some emotions in the movie, but not nearly to the extent of the book. The book also ends on a happy note, although Marley died, it shows the Grogan family getting on without him. They aren't forgetting him altogether, he will always be a part of their lives, but the reader can tell that they will be alright without him. The movie, on the other hand, ends on a really melancholy note. The watcher already feels awful about Marley dying, and although the director tries to end it on a pleasant note, it feels as though it ends pretty abruptly. Marley and Me is amazing and I really feel like I experienced being a part of the Grogan family and I love the way that John Grogan does that.

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Watch Part 1
Watch Part 2
Watch an Interview with John Grogan