Marley & Me

Rated 3.0

John Grogan’s best seller about building a family around an obedience-proof Labrador retriever, a.k.a. “the world’s worst dog,” becomes a movie starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. As adapted by screenwriters Scott Frank and Don Roos, and directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada), it offers less actual drama and comedy than observation and chronology. But there’s cuteness aplenty and tender, unpretentious performances from Aniston, Alan Arkin as Grogan’s boss and particularly Wilson, whose sweetly melancholic receptiveness honors the person-pet bond and disarms sentimentality. This is about as profoundly substantive as you should expect a movie made from a book made from a collection of regional daily-newspaper columns to be, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting at least a little misty-eyed when the story quite unabashedly calls for it.