So I've sworn off giving away the end of movies, but now is the time to break from my rule. The dog dies in the end.
If anyone is planning on seeing Marley and Me, good. It's a pretty good movie. Kate and I saw it on Christmas Day. We had both read the book, so we pretty much knew what to expect. It follows the growth of the dog and the family through the dog's ENTIRE life. I just assumed that everyone else that went to the movie on opening day probably would've already read the book as well. Apparently everyone else in the movie had never read the book. Maybe they didn't even know there was a book. Maybe they are just huge Jennifer Anniston/Owen Wilson fans. Or perhaps they just liked the onslaught of commercials and product tie-ins that were constantly on TV promoting the movie during the holidays. Whatever it was, the whole 'dog-dying-in-the-end" thing seemed to be a surprise for about 75% of the theatre.
The movie was sad, even for people who knew the story. Kate was crying, and she knew the damn dog was going to die. Pretty much the entire theatre was crying. I've never been in a place with so many adults crying (funerals included). Even though everyone was crying, you could tell that some of the crying people were completely blindsided by the dog death. They were the ones that in addition to the typical crying sniffles also had the crying gasps, or the full on sobbing. They should update the courtesy message at the beginning of that movie to say something like "Please silence your cell phones, keep your feet off the seats, and try to cry quietly." Kate and I were sitting next to a 40-something guy. He looked like he might be a plumber or electrician. During the dog's last days, his wife actually leaned over and asked him if he was alright. It was full on man-sob. he clearly hadn't read the book.
I understand why the studio people decided to avoid the whole 'the dog dies in the end' thing in the previews. It was supposed to be a feel good family movie. It was rated PG. It opened on Christmas day. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a dead family pet. But I think some kind of heads up would've been nice. Maybe something like "An amazing pet teaches one family about loyalty, love and loss." Or just something more obvious like "Marley and Me: The dog dies in the end."
So sorry to break my rule and give away the end of a movie. You'll thank me later.