Title – The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
Director – Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young)
Cast – Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten, Judd Hirsch
Plot – The dysfunctional Meyerowitz siblings, Danny (Sandler), Matthew (Stiller) and Jean (Marvel) come together to celebrate a retrospective of their artist father Harold’s (Hoffman) life works.
“It’ll be nice to spend some time with dad; I didn’t get a lot of time with him growing up”
Review by Eddie on 17/10/2017
Indie darling Noah Baumbach’s most easily accessible film yet, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) arrives on Netflix to give us our newest dosage of dysfunctional movie family dramedy and a stark reminder to us all that Adam Sandler can in fact act!
To be clear, those viewers that found some of Baumbach’s most well-known films like The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg and Margot at the Wedding a hard slog to sit through won’t be finding the going any easier with Stories as the directors trademark quirkiness, middle aged failures and awkward scenarios rear their heads regularly in this Sundance hit making it far from your typical everyday movie experience.
Those that like their indie quirk and Baumbach’s previous back catalogue however will lap up every minute of Stories as we’re introduced to the world of Meyerowitz’s.
Lead by Dustin Hoffman as their artistic patriarch Harold, the family consists of Sandler’s floundering Danny, Ben Stiller’s successful and business focussed Matthew, Elizabeth Marvel’s repressed Jean and Emma Thompson’s crazy hippie step-mom Maureen.
It’s a wild family and while the cinematic narrative around the Meyerowitz’s is unquestionably slight; family gets drawn together as Harold gets a retrospective showcase of his art pieces at a prominent university, but what makes the film an above average experience is the comradery and chemistry Baumbach gets from his main cast members.
Hoffman is brilliant as the mentally deteriorating Harold, a father who during much of his life valued his work over spending time with his children, Stiller could play this role in his sleep but he does it as good as anyone whole Marvel and Thompson both do well with somewhat limited screen time.
The real revelation here is however Sandler. His Danny is dealing with both a divorce, the loss of his daughter Eliza to college life and most poignantly a fragile relationship with his father and while we’ve seen Sandler impress on screen before in the likes of Punch Drunk Love and Reign Over Me, Danny Meyerowitz provides the long struggling comedian with what feels like his best lead role yet.
Tasked with some scenes of genuine pent-up emotion and dramatic outbursts, Sandler is fabulously entertaining here and it’s not out of the question to think that the oft-ridiculed actor might see his name appear in end of year awards recognitions.
Final Say –
The Meyerowitz’s might not be the most likeable of families but with Baumbach in charge they become a group of flawed yet engaging creations. Lead by an impressive cast that’s spearheaded by a reinvigorated Adam Sandler, this Netflix film provides us with of the year’s most memorable family drama outings with some genuinely laugh out loud moments thrown in for good measure.
4 acts of vandalism out of 5