Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marley and Me and Miami

I think one of life's greatest pleasures is recognizing a place I've visited in a movie scene. This is totally different from visiting a place that was featured in a movie. Does that make sense? This is one reason why I'm excited to see Magic Mike, filmed in my hometown. I might also be excited because Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey play male strippers so . . . yeah.

Anyways, I was thinking of this during my trip to South Florida last week. In 2008, I visited that area for the first time- a few months before Marley and Me was released. I knew the movie was filmed in Miami and Fort Lauderdale so I was prepared to see the movie and of course had to read the book first.

I happened to reach the saddest part of the book (and if you've read it you know what I'm talking about) on a flight to Florida. Apparently a girl (woman? not to get all B. Spears but it seems weird to refer to myself as a woman) who is openly sobbing in the back of a plane is quite alarming to the flight crew. I looked up to see a flight attendent rushing towards me. She got about 10 feet away and saw the cover of the book. "It's ok everyone!" she announced in relief. "She's reading Marley and Me!" All of the passengers turned towards me and nodded sympathetically as I sniffled into my book. Turns out they had also read that part.

About a month later I went to see Marley and Me and loved every minute of it! This is one of the few examples of a movie that is even better than the book. (See also, The Devil Wears Prada.) While the book is a great "man's best friend" memoir, the movie is really the story of family. I think Owen and Jen are at their absolute best here!

I loved recognizing the place I ran every day during my first trip to Hollywood Beach.

Or the neighborhoods in Boca where I got lost looking for a Starbucks.

And most of all I loved watching John Grogan and his wife grow from giddy newlyweds with a puppy, to tired parents, to the owners of a gorgeous Pennsylvania farmhouse with 3 kids from a J Crew catalog. And of course, sweet Marley.

Sometimes people tell me they don't want to see this movie because they have a dog and they think it will be too sad. But aren't the best movies the ones that make you cry?

See it for yourself and let me know. Maybe on your next flight! But if homeland security tries to take you down, you can't say I didn't warn you!

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