Cast: Owen Wilson, Judy Greer, Lee Pace, Emma Stone, Ron Perlman, Stacy Ferguson, Jeremy Piven, George Lopez, William H. Macy, Steve Coogan, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lee Pace, Sam Elliott, Keifer Sutherland
The Winslow family moves to a new neighborhood with their large yet lovable Great Dane, who has a tendency to wreak havoc in his own oblivious way.
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In one moment during the film I closed my eyes and was convinced I was hearing an episode of Beverly Hills 90210.
And another moment during the film I closed my eyes and was convinced I was hearing the John Hughes scripted movie Some Kind of Wonderful.
That's what Marmaduke the movie is: a story about a middle american family moving to the O.C. and the dog replacing Brenda Walsh by trying to be one of the "cool dogs" and getting the "cool doggie girl."
Doing that Marmaduke compromises himself and loses who he was because he moved to Southern California. Throw in a girl tom-boy dog who befriends the Duke and sees him for who he really is. But of course he doesn't notice her attraction and chases after the more classy and vanity driven girl dog who has a jerk mean boy-dog-friend (voiced fittingly by Keifer Sutherland) ala the 80s Hughes film.
And that's Marmaduke the movie. Not exactly the comic strip I grew up with.
I don't know what to make of this film. I guess there were some funny moments and I'm always a sucker for those family togetherness endings, but I think it's time to take a few years off from making the ugly but adorable dog films. And you kind of have to wonder about Owen Wilson's choice to voice the big ol' large and clumsy dog because didn't he just play a character who owned a large and clumsy dog named Marley?
This is a film that will get lost in the shuffle during it's 2010 summer movie run as there are plenty of kids films to see and Marmaduke isn't exactly a name that most kids know. Do kids even know what a comic strip is now? So who is supposed to be the audience in this type of film. The theme is really about someone learning to be themselves as they enter new environments, but that's more of a teenager analogy and emotion. And I'm sure it went right over the heads of any kid under 8 years old.
I know American loves dogs, so I'm sure many will see this film when it comes out on DVD and home video. But do they love dogs that much? This isn't exactly a memorable movie as they really didn't give us nothing new. Except for the film's finale which is pretty silly and I don't want to give it away.