Friday Flicks: Is Marley the Documentary of the Year?

Grab some popcorn! Check out the movies you should see (or avoid) this weekend.

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Darling Companion

Beth (Diane Keaton) saves a lost dog from the side of the freeway in Denver. Joseph (Kevin Kline), is Beth’s distracted, self-involved husband. And since Beth and Joseph are not exactly seeing eye to eye right now, she proceeds to forms a special bond with the animal. After Joseph somehow loses the dog following the wedding of their daughter (Elisabeth Moss), Beth — by now ready to pretty much slice and dice Joseph up and feed him to any animal — ropes in the remaining wedding guests and a mysterious woman (Ayelet Zurer) in a search quite possibly unlike any in cinematic history. And this is all done under the watchful eye of The Big Chill director Lawrence Kasdan who, once upon a time, might have run a mile from such material (or at least handled it differently). Apart from that though, a masterpiece, right?

For the likes of Salon, it’s all too easy to spot the issue at stake. “Kasdan was one of the hottest guys in the business for at least a decade. Today, although he’s younger than Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese … Kasdan looks like a flailing, irrelevant has-been.” The Village Voice goes down a similar path: “The handsome pooch is … the only appealing aspect of the latest tale of privileged boomer pulse-taking from Lawrence Kasdan …” The Associated Press feels exactly the same (just about every critic does, in fact), noting that Darling Companion “feels utterly neutered, a film with little on the line and a talented cast begging for a little wit and a few jokes.”

LIST: TIME’s Top 10 Films of 2011

NewsFeed’s Flicks Pick: Whether you know his material or have an opinion on him as a person, Marley remains the must-see choice of the week.

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