In the movie, Jennifer and co-star Owen Wilson play newlyweds who get a dog to test the waters of parenthood. Marley turns out to be a four-legged fiasco, but he teaches the couple the joy of life's unexpected messes and the lessons of unconditional love.
Jennifer says this role was a particularly moving one for her. "For the first time I'm not the girl wanting the guy," she says. "It was a portrait of a marriage, and it was just an important experience for me. I really loved every minute of it."
The character Jennifer portrays represents many real women, she says. "You get to that place in your life and you realize, 'I have to make a choice,' because either your work is suffering or your children and your family are suffering," she says. "It's not just a happy dog movie. It really does touch on some life issues that are not necessarily fun."