MARLEY & ME
Fox 2000 Pictures and Regency Enterprises present a Gil Netter / Sunswept Entertainment production, a David Frankel film, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston in MARLEY & ME. The comedy also stars Eric Dane and Alan Arkin. It is directed by David Frankel from a screenplay by Scott Frank and Don Roos, based upon the book by John Grogan. The producers are Karen Rosenfelt and Gil Netter. Executive producers are Arnon Milchan and Joe Caracciolo, Jr., the director of photography is Florian Ballhaus, and the production designer is Stuart Wurtzel. The film editor is Mark Livolsi, A.C.E., the music is by Theodore Shapiro, the music supervisor is Julia Michels, and the costume designer is Cindy Evans.
John Grogan's book Marley & Me and its universal themes of marriage and family resonated to millions of readers, from all walks of life, propelling it to the top of the best-seller charts. "People from all over the world wrote me letters about how the book mirrored their lives," says the author. "[Those connections were] somewhat accidental; I just stumbled on that. But many people, of course, do fall in love, get married and build families, and that's what Marley & Me is about."
While the book and film feature a dog's name in the title, they tell much more than a story about said canine. "[Marley & Me] is not a dog story," says Grogan. "When I wrote it, I didn't think of it as a dog book, and I still don't. I saw it as a growth-of-a-family story, with the dog being a catalyst. It's a comedy with a poignant side to it."
Filmmaker David Frankel, who takes the helm of MARLEY & ME, echoes the author's sentiments. "The story is about the highs and lows of being young and in love and encountering the challenges of marriage. It also deals with the dreams that get sacrificed for the joys of children, and about the challenges of balancing career and family.
"Most of all," adds Frankel, the director of the blockbuster comedy "The Devil Wears Prada," it's about life - the rollercoaster of life that we all experience."
"MARLEY & ME is about marriage, and balancing family and career," says Jennifer Aniston, who portrays Jenny Grogan. "It's about all of the things that affect so many people in relationships. You think it's a story about a mischievous dog - and it is - but it's so much more than that. There's something about the Grogans and about Marley that connects in a universal way."
"It's about the journey that Marley goes through with the Grogans," adds Owen Wilson, who plays John Grogan. "Marley reminds them how much fun life can be."
If MARLEY & ME is not a "dog story," the titular pooch is certainly a major player in the tail...er...tale. Noting Grogan's description of Marley being a "catalyst" in the Grogan family dynamic, Frankel points out that "the story tells us how important a dog's perspective can be to us - and specifically to the Grogans. Dogs are wonderful because they don't think about the future or the past; they know only the joy of living in the present. And humans, sadly, often forget that."
The lessons Marley teaches the Grogans are many, and begin even before the pup is adopted by the couple. Adding Marley to their household is intended, at first, as a kind of entryway into the world of parenthood. John is not certain he's yet up to the task of being a dad, and still envies the freewheeling lifestyle of his unmarried friend Sebastian, played by Eric Dane. "John sees that Sebastian has more professional opportunities," says Owen Wilson. "Single people's lives are more fluid. They can take more chances because they have fewer responsibilities and obligations [than married people]."
"Sebastian leads what seems to be an ideal single man's lifestyle," says Eric Dane, who stars as Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan on "Grey's Anatomy." "Sebastian is always happy to listen to John
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