Sunday, March 01, 2009

Marley & Me (movie review)

I went to this movie a skeptic, secretly wanting to study this Aniston character some more. I tend to avoid sitcoms (and tabloids), have not observed much of her work to date. Her appearance on the CBS Morning Show with Harry Smith perked some interest.

Flashing back on Little Buddha with Keanu & Co., I was thinking their whole slice of life in this movie is within that part of the Buddha's career when he's still living the dream inside the palace walls.

It's a saga, but framed in those middle years of good health and young children, sustained by a more than adequate middle income. These adults are lucky dogs, not so shivering and alone as dear Wendy in North Portland, also a dog aficionado.

I recall Pamela J. Power's remark that it's OK for us to become more attached to our pets as we grow older, as they become the talismans for our inner journey. This film pays homage to that concept.

It's a film about choices within a very nuclear family, devoid even of grandparents: when to have a first baby, which adult gets the career, and how does that career nurture the careerist?

Pamela's remarks about violence also pertain, or let's just call it shocks to the system. Staying home with the kids is stressful, even minus some "official diagnosis" and Jennifer is good at portraying that. But these are also the basis of future memories, highly treasured in retrospect. Woof.

In what time period was this set I wonder? Political events don't obtrude much, even though these are both "reporters" we're told. There's something nasty unfolding in South America but that's not enough to go on. The newspaper computers look really ancient.

The film itself is a bit of a Wurlitzer, by which I mean it somewhat transparently fills the sponge and squeezes, getting emotion on cue, as one's made for TV life flashes by in a time of letting go. I'm not the crufty cynic here though (because I'm an Alan Arkin fan?), noting that people go to the movies for a reason. For some reason I'm reminded of Groundhog Day and Broken Flowers, both a little crazier than this one.

As for the male journalist character, the reporter-columnist, I'm thinking my own writing is far better, and so when do I get the big bucks? How does one "boost circulation" in the blogosphere anyway? I'm more into boosting coffee and donuts mixed with LCD content, than wood pulp. Which reminds me, here's a link to something I ran by the Portland Tribune, at the request of the education desk.

Happy birthday Alexia