The Meddler – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, who also did Seeking a Friend For The End of the World (which I quite enjoyed) comes The Meddler, a story based on her own life. In the film however we are treated to Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne in a mother/daughter story that was very very real. Sarandon plays Marnie who is recently widowed and moves from New York to Los Angeles to be near her screenwriter/director daughter, Lori. When she can’t fit herself into her daughter’s life, she pushes her way into the lives of her daughter’s friends and other people she meets in L.A., such as the young man working as an Apple genius. There was a lot of Apple product placement in this film, it almost seemed like a commercial at times when I was told how to zoom in on an iPhone, how much memory to get on my phone or tablet…. Oh well, product placement is what helps finance projects right? Eventually Marnie does develop a life of her own, but feels guilty for it when her daughter is having a hard time with both her own personal life and while still dealing with the death of her father.
The story was well acted, and well presented, but I felt that there were maybe a few too many storylines going on at once. I guess that Marnie really is a meddler, she babysits for Lori’s friends, she plans a lesbian wedding, she helps a kid get through his college exams, she dates a retired motorcycle cop named Zipper (J.K. Simmons), she sits in on the set when her daughter’s tv show is being filmed, she tries to set her daughter up with a guy, she meets up with her old New York friends and family….phew, how do you fit the daughter’s story in there too? Somehow they managed it though, and I think that the skill of the cast is what made it what it was: fairly enjoyable, but not earth shattering. I think the film (and the performances) were very realistic, maybe a little sensationalized but still grounded in something that we can relate to.
Bottom Line: Hey, this had two of my favourite actors in it; J.K. Simmons and Lucy Punch!