Dog movies tend to paint canines as cartoon characters. They destroy things, they save the day by alerting firemen and cops and whatnot, and they prance around to goofy music. A few films, like My Dog Skip and Old Yeller, have managed to show dogs as what they truly are—a loved and integral part of the family. Not only can you add Marley & Me to the list of “real” movies about dogs, you can put it right on top. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play the Grogans, owners of the world’s worst dog. What’s so nice about this movie is that it doesn’t overdo it with the dog shenanigans. Wilson is actually really good here, as is Aniston. They make for a believable couple coping with the rigors of raising a family with a dog that eats sofas. This one doesn’t feel like some silly canine caper. It’s a real movie, with real feelings, real people and a dog that seems real.

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