Marley & Me... not suitable for grade school kids? And could you answer quickly... the movie is about to start!

It’s raining & dreary today so we’ve rented Marley & Me to watch as a family. Children ages 6 -17. My middle daughter said she had heard that there are parts that are NOT approparite for children, and she wasn’t speaking of the dog dying at the end. When I said like what? She said she didn’t know… just that her friend said it was “embarassing” to watch with her mother.

If you’ve seen it, what do you think? Thanks!

No personal experience.

However, Steven Greydanus ( has this to say at National Catholic Register:

BY Steven D. Greydanus
April 26-May 2, 2009 Issue | Posted 4/17/09 at 6:00 AM
Now available on DVD, Marley & Me is an endearing, affecting, remarkably pro-family dramedy with a rambunctious yellow Lab that is not the slapstick center of the film so much as the bright, colorful hook in a tale of a likable young couple’s transition from newlywed professionals to parents of a family of five with a breadwinning dad and stay-at-home mom.
Based on John Grogan’s autobiographical book about life with “the world’s worst dog,” Marley & Me stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as John and Jenny Grogan, a couple of young journalists who get a dog, originally because John hopes to stall Jenny’s family impulses. Three kids later, they realize Marley was the beginning of their family. John’s career doesn’t go as expected, but sometimes “life has a better idea.” **Uplifting and decent. **

And this from Christianity Today:

The Family Corner
For parents to consider
Marley & Me is rated PG for thematic material, some suggestive content, and language. The language is mild, and the suggestive content involves implied sex between married John and Jenny as well as between Marley and a table leg, a pillow, and the obedience school instructor’s leg. There are a few family squabbles that get resolved well—and could provide good fodder for conversation about real-life disagreements and struggles.
SPOILER ALERT: This is no surprise to anyone who’s read the book, but parents of young kids should be forewarned that Marley dies at the end of the movie. He’s old and has lived a long, happy life. But the kids in the family are all around grade-school age when it happens, and they participate in his funeral. This could be helpful and instructive for kids who have experienced loss, but could also be traumatic for younger, more sensitive children.

Thanks so much! :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t let my children watch any movie whatsoever that I had not previewed personally before hand. Period.

Great web site to see if the kids can see the movie

And with that to top off what has already been said the movie is unacceptable.

“Uplifting and decent.” ha! I wouldn’t trust that lot to take care of a dog, nevermind a child.

Honestly, I feel it has come to this and I will follow this advice in the future. I am the OP and we did watch the movie last night. Had I watched it in advance, I would NOT have allowed my children to see it.

The movie was peppered with swear words… here and there throughout the whole movie…and there were lots of sexual refrences. For example:

When the husband and wife are trying to conceive a baby, the wife calls the husband on the phone and says, “Just so you know, there is a naked woman in your bed.” The huband responds with, “Well you go ahead and get started with her, and I’ll be home shortly.” :eek:

When the husband’s boss finds out they are “trying for a baby” he makes some sort of sexual refrence to a score or a hole in one… ?

Still in the baby making mode, the couple travel to Ireland on a vacation and stay at a Bed & Breakfast obviously owned by a Catholic woman. Here come all the comments about having sex with Jesus and Mary watching them.

The wife throws the husband a suprise birthday party and after the guests are gone they are sitting out by the pool and the wife asks if he’s “ready for his present?” Then she strips and jumps into the pool naked. The husband does the same and they are shown front to front fully embracing under the water. Although we don’t see them naked, we KNOW what’s going on… or about to go on.

Their are lots of “humping dog” refrences along with a discussion about his “balls” when they decide to have him fixed.

I should have shut the movie off, … but I didn’t… hoping that the comments were going over my children’s heads… but to be honest, I was actually GLAD at the end when the dog dies because I knew the stupid thing was almost over.

No No No,

The movie Marley & Me has a lot of adult content. The movie is more about the life of the husband and wife with their issues rather than about the dog Marley in the book, where its all about the dog.

Hope that helps!

:eek::eek::eek: I get so angry that Hollywood makes movies like this targeted for kids. PG, :rolleyes:! I can’t understand the Christian website giving it a good review. The USCCB movie review site surprises me sometimes, too.

A fantastic site for reviews that I have used time & time again is Focus on the Family’s website. I’m sorry, I don’t know how to provide a link, but google Focus on the Family & click on Plugged In Movie Reviews. They don’t try & rate the movie for you. I love that they just tell you in great detail what happens & let YOU decide. Very few (if any) surprises!

You **cannot **use the USSCB movie review site to gain reliable information on whether a movie is morally acceptable or not, it does not apply the rules of proper Catholic moral judgment of media at all, but only the subjective opinion of an immoral reviewer.

It’s a disgrace.

I have to admit–sorry, everyone–I wonder if you are being just a little too strict?

My daughter watched the movie and thought it was a good family movie appropriate for children. She hated the dog (our family is not a “dog” family, we’re a cat family). She didn’t particularly like the movie (because of the dog), but she didn’t think it was bad or to be avoided.

When I read your comments on this thread (I’m 51), I honestly don’t see anything to be shocked about. This couple is married, right? What is wrong or sinful with playfulness about sex? My husband and I tease and “play” and always have. And what is wrong with children seeing a positive, playful view of married sex? And personally, I think it is fantastic to see a Hollywood production in which a couple wants children and is trying to conceive children. That’s amazing! Pretty “Catholic” if you ask me!

My daughter described some scenes of chaos in the movie with the family trying to adjust to babies and a dog–well, that’s the way real life is! Isn’t it? Did your “baby times” go perfectly smoothly all the time? Ours didn’t!

Again, the couple IS married? Right? If not, then that’s a different thing.

I guess you could say we’re being too strict, or we could say your daughter is being too permissive? The point being, everyone has their own standards… I would like to know exactly what’s in a movie before I let my kids watch it so the solution for me is to preview it beforehand or use a movie review site that comes closer to the standards I’ve set for my family.

And for the record, the couple was trying to conceive “child” … no smiles when the 2nd child was conceived and the Dad told the children the 3rd child’s name should have been “Opps” so I’d hardly call that “pretty Catholic.”

Did your daughter mention all the swearing? It was literally throughout the movie. Words that rhyme with Yamn, Yit, Yastard, etc. Those aren’t the sort of words I think are appropriate for my 3, 6 & 10 year olds’ viewing pleasure. And while my husband and I are playful with each other in front of our children, I wouldn’t want my children to see YOU strip and get “playful” with your naked husband in a pool. Again, I don’t think naked foreplay in a pool is appropraite family viewing, ragardless of the marital status of the two going at it.

But that’s just me. :shrug:

Your daugther is in her 20’s right? So, no I don’t think she should have a problem with it. But I don’t want my 7 and 9 year old girls watching something like this! Great, they want to conceive children, don’t really want to have Hollywood decide when I should discuss that with my kids! They market these things for kids and they shouldn’t! I think, from what I have read here, the jokes are not right for small children either.
I have no problem with them showing how hard it can be adjusting to baby times, that’s not a problem. But young children do not need to watch a couple, married or not, having sex! Why can’t they make kids movies…that are for kids! They used to, not anymore. That’s why we don’t take our kids to the movies. We watch classics instead! You can have the love and romance, but little children don’t need the sex and crude humor…neither do adults! I don’t need to see it either. I know how the process works, they don’t need to show me!

Oh - and one more part of the “family movie” I could have done without: When the Dad is being interviewed for a job he talks about how successful he has been in life despite the fact that his college years were mostly spent “smoking a bong.”


I can just imagine: My 6 year old: “Mommy… what’s a bong?”

Well, I can certainly understand why young children shouldn’t be watching the movie. I guess my feeling is that anything Jennifer Aniston is in is usually “light trash.” She’s not exactly a great actress.

As for the swears–well, that’s the way a lot of people talk these days. IMO, screenwriters do this because they aren’t creative enough to think of good dialogue.

Putting a dog in the movie was just their way of making families rent it. After all, anything with a dog must be cute, right? :rolleyes:

Have you watched Bridge to Terabithia? That is an excellent movie for children (the ending may disturb some sensitive children). The mom and dad in this movie are wonderful–Dad is very, very strict (the character is written this way in the book), but he is so tender towards his young daughter, and helps with the baby, and in the end, he is tender towards his son, too. The family has at least five children, even though they’re poor. And they are in CHURCH. I don’t think there were swears at all. I loved this movie, and it certainly helps that my favorite actor is in it! (Robert Patrick–he said he did this film for his children, since they seldom get to see him in movies because so many of them are rockin’ sockin’ action films with violence and swears and lots of other macho stuff!)

OK, I haven’t seen the movie, but I am going by what I have heard about it. My objections are different from anything I have seen posted yet. I understand that a lot of the humor comes from the fact that the dog is totally untrained. I just don’t find anything funny or touching or family friendly about getting a dog and then failing to train the dog to be good. I have know way too many untrained dogs in real life, and they are not funny, and they don’t have fun. I have know some dogs to become real nut cases because they sincerely want to get along with their people, who just refuse to take the trouble to give them clear guidelines. When Adam was told that he has dominion over the beasts, that is a responsibility. Negligent dog owners are just thumbing their noses at this responsibility. It is interesting to me that movie dogs must be very highly trained, even to depict an untrained dog.

I believe both the book and the movie make clear is that Marley was untrainable, not untrained for lack of trying. He was in fact taken to obedience school, but was so resistant that he was ejected from the school as I recall.

Calling a dog untrainable is just an easy way out. And it is always supposed to be so funny to have a dog “flunk out” of obedience school. God gave to man dominion over the beasts, but really only dogs are in the state of grace that they WANT this relationship. Not training a dog is truly a disservice to the dog, as well as other people. And glorifying not training by making a funny movie about it is worse.

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