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Marley & Me was based on a real life memoir by John Grogan about how his life--and that of his family--was altered because of the presence of their dog, Marley. But how much do you know about Marley & Me? Take a look at some interesting trivia about the film, the memoir, and the real dog that inspired them both.

22 different dogs were used in the film
It's normal for there to be multiple dogs playing one dog character in a film, but because Marley & Me covered 14 years of Marley's life, the production needed multiple dogs from various age groups. In all, the production ended up using 22 different dogs to play Marley.

The film was a huge box office success
Marley & Me opened on Christmas day, and earned 14.75 million--a box office record--on opening day along. The film grossed almost 52 million in its opening weekend, and ended up taking in nearly 243 million in both domestic and international box offices. The film's budget was $60 million.

John Grogan appears in the film
John Grogon, the author of the original Marley & Me, appears in a special cameo during the scene where Marley is taken to a dog training class. Grogan plays the owner of the Cocker Spaniel.

John Grogan's eulogy for Marley was a hit
Josh Grogan reported that the responses that he received after publishing a eulogy for his dog Marley were more than any other column or article he had written in his life.

The movie takes some liberties from the original memoir
Like any film adaptation, some aspects of the book—despite it being non-fiction—were changed. Some of the differences include:

  • In the film, John says that Marley was his first dog. In reality, John had a dog (named Shaun) when he was a boy.
  • In the film, Marley doesn't pass his obedience class and never comes back. In reality, Marley failed the obedience class, but later came back, improved, and passed.
  • Marley's appearance in a motion picture ('The Last Home Run') is never mentioned in the film

The film also omits some of the more serious aspects of Marley’s life, such as the time he guarded a stabbing victim that Grogan encountered on the street or the comfort he provided the family after Grogan’s wife miscarried.

 

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anneboleynAlthough the third and fourth seasons of The Tudors did respectfully in the ratings—and reviews—many viewers were quoted as saying that there was just a certain something missing from the final two seasons. And that certain something was Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn. Dormer’s performance is arguably the most applauded of the entire series. At times fiery and passionate, demure and kind, antagonistic and pleading—she managed to capture many facets of the mysterious and enigmatic Anne Boleyn that are often left by the wayside in popular portrayals. In other words: Natalie Dormer really rocked as Anne Boleyn. And here are some excellent reasons why:

She fought for Anne’s right to be brunette:

Although The Tudors is not bastion of accuracy, there were certain lines that Natalie Dormer—an avid historian enthusiast who researched Anne Boleyn—did not want to cross. The first contested line occurred before filming had even begun. Dormer, a natural blonde, had dyed her hair a dark brown for the role; this was not surprising, considering that Anne Boleyn was known for her dark hair. Dormer, however, was pulled aside and told that the producers were furious with her—because they had wanted to portray Anne Boleyn as a blonde. Dormer pleaded with the show’s writers and producers to allow Anne to retain her natural hair color—and she got her way.

She understood Anne’s complexity: 

Another incident of Dormer championing for a better portrayal of Anne Boleyn occurred during the planning stages of the show’s second season. Dormer was growing frustrated with the one-note direction that her character was heading in—in short terms, a temptress for the king and nothing more. Season 1 Anne is more or less the stereotypical seductress that her enemies painted her to be—“The Other Woman.” Dormer, who in a recent interview admitted that she often struggled portraying Anne as the scripts intended, pleaded with the head writer of the show to remember that Anne Boleyn was a complicated figure and give her more to do than be a plaything for Henry VIII. The show’s second season featured a much more complex, emotional, human Anne Boleyn that no one but Dormer could do justice.

arresteddevelopmentSince Netflix saved this show and gave us another 15 glorious episodes, the sting of Arrested Development’s initial cancellation has lessened.  But this in turn showcases what an idiotic move it was for the Fox network to cancel this fine series in the first place.  I understand that it’s all about ratings and if a show doesn’t get them high enough it’s gone but come on!  If you have a zeitgeist type of show, and Arrested Development was one, plus it’s nominated for a slew of Emmy’s over the course of its run, how as a network do you fail to promote it and make it work?

Fox failed to capitalize on what it had.  I remember seeing an interview with Jason Bateman, who played Michael Bluth, head of a family of misfits, where he talked about the series’ cancellation and how most shows try to make it to 100+ episodes, in order to get into the coveted syndication territory.

Arrested Development, with only 53 episodes, didn’t make it to that level, not even close.  But Bateman spoke on how it wasn’t built that way to begin with.  It wasn’t meant to have five full seasons, just two and a half.  The show was what it was on purpose; a quirky, silly, trippy sitcom that defied categorization and labeling.

The fans were/are rabid, but the show doesn’t appeal to everyone.  With nine main cast members, and constant reshuffling of its time slot on Fox, it’s no wonder it was difficult for most people to follow.  It was kind of all over the place but there in lies its appeal for those of us in the know.  There were certain things about the characters you could come to rely on, like Will Arnett’s Gob screwing up anything he got involved with in spectacular fashion, or Bateman’s Michael sacrificing something personal to save everyone else, but the story itself was surprising at every turn.

There was an overarching plotline to the show.  It was Michael keeping his family together while still developing a relationship with his son.  But some times it’s hard to follow with so many subplots going on.  Buster fighting with Lucille (Lucille One, his real mother and Lucille Two, played by Liza Minnelli of all people) over his lifestyles as a mommy’s boy, Gob and his goofy illusions and battles with the Magician’s Guild, Tobias and Lindsay’s fake marriage and the pathetic attempts at keeping it going, George Michael (Bateman’s son on the show played by Michael Cera) having feelings for his cousin Maeby (played by Alia Shawkat)… on and on.

There was a lot going on with this show but this subtle complexity is what made it so great and what Fox failed to understand.

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