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- This article is about the film. For the book on which it is based, see Marley & Me.
Marley & Me is a 2008 American dramedy film directed by David Frankel. The screenplay by Scott Frank and Don Roos is based on the memoir of the same title by John Grogan. The film was released in the United States and Canada on December 25, 2008 and set a record for the largest Christmas Day box office ever with $14.75 million in ticket sales. 
Soon after their wedding, John and Jenny Grogan escape the brutal Michigan winters and relocate to a cottage in southern Florida, where they are hired as reporters for competing newspapers. At The Palm Beach Post, Jenny immediately receives prominent front-page assignments, while at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, John finds himself writing obituaries and two-paragraph articles about mundane news like a fire at the local garbage dump.
When John senses Jenny is contemplating motherhood, his friend and co-worker Sebastian Tunney suggests the couple adopt a dog to see if they’re ready to raise a family. From a litter of newborn yellow labrador retrievers they select Marley (named after reggae singer Bob Marley), who immediately proves to be incorrigible. They bring him to Ms. Kornblut, who firmly believes any dog can be trained, but when Marley refuses to obey commands, she expels him from her class.
Editor Arnie Klein offers John a twice-weekly column in which he can discuss the fun and foibles of everyday living. At first stumped for material, John realizes the misadventures of Marley might be the perfect topic for his first piece. Arnie agrees, and John settles into his new position.
Marley continues to wreak havoc on the household, providing John with a wealth of material for his column, which becomes a hit with readers and helps increase the newspaper’s circulation. Jenny becomes pregnant, but loses the baby early in her first trimester. She and John travel to Ireland for a belated honeymoon, leaving the rambunctious dog in the care of a young woman who finds him impossible to control, especially during the frequent thunderstorms that plague the area. Soon after returning from their vacation, Jenny discovers she is pregnant again, and this time she delivers a healthy boy, Patrick. When she has a second son, Connor, she opts to give up her job and become a stay-at-home mom, and the couple decides to move to a larger house in the safer neighborhood of Boca Raton, where Marley delights in swimming in the backyard pool.
John and Jenny welcome a daughter, Colleen, to their family. Although she denies she is experiencing postpartum depression, Jenny exhibits all the symptoms, including a growing impatience with Marley and John, who asks Sebastian to care for the dog when Jenny insists they give him away. She quickly comes to realize he has become an
indispensable part of the family and agrees he can stay.
John celebrates his 40th birthday. Increasingly disenchanted with his job, he decides to accept a position as a reporter with The Philadelphia Inquirer with Jenny’s blessing, and the family moves to a farm in rural Pennsylvania. Life is idyllic until the aging Marley begins to show signs of slowing down. When it becomes clear surgery will not help his debilitating condition, the dog is euthanised and buried.
Because the film covers fourteen years in the life of the dog, twenty-two different yellow labs played the part of Marley. 
The film was shot on location in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Hollywood, including Dolphin Stadium, in Florida, and Philadelphia and West Chester in Pennsylvania.
The film’s score was composed by Theodore Shapiro, who previously had worked with director David Frankel on The Devil Wears Prada. He recorded it with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox. 
Dave Barry, John Grogan’s fellow South Florida humor columnist, makes an uncredited cameo as a guest at the surprise party celebrating John’s 40th birthday.
Todd McCarthy of Variety said the film is “as broad and obvious as it could be, but delivers on its own terms thanks to sparky chemistry between its sunny blond stars, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, and the unabashed emotion-milking of the final reel. Fox has a winner here, likely to be irresistible to almost everyone but cats … Animated and emotionally accessible, Aniston comes off better here than in most of her feature films, and Wilson spars well with her, even if, in the film’s weaker moments, he shows he’s on less certain ground with earnest material than he is with straight-faced impertinence.” 
Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter observed that “seldom does a studio release feature so little drama – and not much comedy either, other than when the dog clowns around . . . [W]hatever Marley wants to be about – the challenges of marriage or the balancing act between career and family – gets subsumed by pet tricks. Dog lovers won’t care, and that basically is the audience for the film. From Fox’s standpoint, it may be enough . . . Marley & Me is a warm and fuzzy family movie, but you do wish that at least once someone would upstage the dog.” 
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called the film “a cheerful family movie” and added, “Wilson and Aniston demonstrate why they are gifted comic actors. They have a relationship that’s not too sitcomish, not too sentimental, mostly smart and realistic.” 
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly graded the film A-, calling it “the single most endearing and authentic movie about the human–canine connection in decades. As directed by David Frankel, though, it’s also something more: a disarmingly enjoyable, wholehearted comic vision of the happy messiness of family life.” 
Steve Persall of the St. Petersburg Times graded the film B and commented, “Marley & Me practically leaps at viewers like a pound puppy seeking affection, and darn if it doesn’t deserve some . . . Things could get mushier or sillier, but Frankel and screenwriters Scott Frank and Don Roos — who usually handle grittier material — decline to play the easy, crowd-pleasing game. Their faith in Grogan’s simple tale of loyalty among people and pets is unique, and it pays off . . . [It] isn’t extraordinary cinema, but it relates to everyday people in the audience in a way that few movies do without being dull.” 
Walter Addiego of the San Francisco Chronicle said, “This love letter to man’s best friend will make dog fanciers roll over and do tricks. It’s so warmhearted, you’ll want to run out and hug the nearest big, sloppy mutt.” 
Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer awarded the film three out of four stars and commented, “Marley and Me operates on the assumption that happiness is a warm tongue bath. And those who endorse this belief will enjoy this shaggy dog story . . . The anecdotal structure does not make for a gripping movie. For one thing, there’s no conflict, unless you count the tension between a guy and his untrainable pooch. Yet Marley boasts animal magnetism . . . Mawkish? Sometimes. But often very funny and occasionally very moving.” 
Betsy Sharkey of the
Los Angeles Times called it “an imperfect, messy and sometimes trying film that has moments of genuine sweetness and humor sprinkled in between the saccharine and the sadness.” 
The film opened on 3,480 screens in the US and Canada. It grossed $14.75 million on its first day of release, setting the record for the best Christmas Day box office take ever by surpassing the previous high of $10.2 million achieved by Ali in 2001.  It earned a total of $51.7 million over the four-day weekend and placed #1 at the box office, a position it maintained for two weeks. As of March 10, 2009, its total worldwide gross was $175,384,033. 
The film is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 31, 2009. Viewers will have the option of a single disc or a two-disc set called the Bad Boy Edition.