Marley and Me (2008) were is a comedy-drama that centers on the Grogan Family and their rambunctious new dog, Marley. The film was directed by David Franklen and the screenplay was co-written by Scott Frank and Don Roos, who based their screenplay on a real-life memoir written by John Grogan.
The story in the film centers on Josh and Jenny Grogan, a Michigan-born couple who decide to move to Florida shortly after getting married. The couple begins to play for a family, and they decide to adopt a dog in order to get used to the idea of having responsibility over a living being. They pick a young puppy that they name Marley; the dog is willful, rambunctious and difficult to train. Despite taking him to obedience school, the family makes little progress with his behavior. Although Marley makes their life chaotic, the family loves and cherishes him as they grow older and bigger—Jenny has several children and the family moves several time as Josh looks for different types of journalistic work.
As Marley gets older, his health begins to deteriorate. He suffers from arthritis and begins to go deaf, and suffers an attack of gastric dilatation volvulus, which is a stomach condition. He recovers from this first attack but suffers a second attack soon after; the family is told that surgery won’t help his condition and that it will only continue to become more and more painful. The decision is made to euthanize Marley, who dies at his family’s side.
The film follows the general idea of the original memoir, with some differences, including less focus on Marley and more focus on Josh and Jenny. Several moments of bravery in the memoir—such as Marley’s protective behavior over a stabbing victim—are left out of the film. The film also focuses less on the darker moments of the memoir.
The film opened on Christmas Day, 2008, and was a financial success. It set a new record for Christmas Day movie box offices with a total of 14.75 million dollars in ticket sales on opening day alone. Over its first four-day weekend, it earned 51.7 million dollars. In the United States, the film ended up earning over 143 million dollars domestically and 99 million dollars in the international market; in total, it brought in almost 243 million dollars. The film’s budget was 60 million dollars, making it a success.