Marley and Me backlash (ending spoilers)
Although I absolutely hate people revealing the end of films for others, this is a well known story, or it at least is now that the story is being made into a Hollywood film called Marley and Me, and the way it's being revealed is rather amusing, if very unfair.
What's been happening, and we've seen it a few times before, is that people have been spray painting the ending of the film across the billboards for the Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson starrer about a family who learn a lot about their life from their untrained puppy.
Warning, there are spoilers for the ending of the film ahead, and big ones too.
The story, if you don't know it, was revealed during an episode of The Dog Whisperer, something I happened to catch on British television about a month ago, so it's been around for a while.
Here's the full write up of the Marley and Me book (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) from Harper Collins before the big spoilers for the ending of the film, so if you don't want to know you had better look away.
“John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.
Marley quickly grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever, a dog like no other. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, flung drool on guests, stole women's undergarments, and ate nearly everything he could get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewelry. Obedience school did no good—Marley was expelled. Neither did the tranquilizers the veterinarian prescribed for him with the admonishment, "Don't hesitate to use these."
And yet Marley's heart was pure. Just as he joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley shared the couple's joy at their first pregnancy, and their heartbreak over the miscarriage. He was there when babies finally arrived and when the screams of a seventeen-year-old stabbing victim pierced the night. Marley shut down a public beach and managed to land a role in a feature-length movie, always winning hearts as he made a mess of things. Through it all, he remained steadfast, a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit's end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.”
It's an interesting story, and one that you would have thought was crafted from the great scriptwriters of Hollywood in order to pull the tears right from your eyes.
So the billboards are up across American to sell the film, and with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson leading it already has a fan base ready to leap at the doors. However some people are keen to ruin other's enjoyment of the film, and you could say that I'm one of them for posting Stephanie's photos.
Oh, big thanks to Stephanie for the photos, here's what she had to say about them, and this really is your last chance to avoid the spoilers.
“My friends and I saw these Marley and Me billboards up around town with graffitti that [gives away the ending – Richard]
I won't be spoiling my children's christmas day with [the ending of the film - Richard]
This is going to be worse than when they shot Bambi's mother...”
She's quite right, it is going to be a hell of a film for kids because...no, let me leave it for the photos that Stephanie so kindly took of the abused billboards.
Amusing, but at the same time there are people who are going to be rather upset at getting the film ruined for them.
At the same time, wouldn't you like to be able to warn your kids, or like Stephanie be prepared not to take them at all, to see a film with such an unhappy ending that could have them in tears and unhappy for days and weeks to come?