The Meyerowitz Stories: Adam Sandler discovers vulnerability
The film may be produced by Netflix, but it is deeply cinematic.
It has been noted by Noah Baumbach’s partner Greta Gerwig that his cerebral, bittersweet roundelays set out their plots in a single line of dialogue. “Mum and me versus you and Dad,” says a boy to his brother at the start of The Squid and the Whale, a prickly comedy about divorce, though he’s only referring to a doubles tennis match.
“Are you going to let me in?” asks the PA played by Gerwig in Greenberg, a prickly comedy about commitment, though all she’s doing is changing lanes.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) continues the tradition, opening with the shambolic Danny (Adam Sandler) trying to reverse into a Manhattan parking space as he asks: “Am I fitting?” The film shows in painstaking detail why the answer is unlikely ever to be “yes”.
He and his plain-Jane sister Jean (Elizabeth Marvel) are the overlooked adult children of Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman), a white-bearded sculptor who shuffles around his apartment, bemoaning his more celebrated contemporaries and cooing over his poodle and his flamboyant alcoholic current wife, Maureen (Emma Thompson).
Danny is appalled that his father is considering selling the place, though he only lived there for a year when he was 16, whereas his half-brother, the prosperous West Coast accountant Matthew (Ben Stiller), was raised in the apartment and is trying to rush the sale through. The film is rife with such ironies. In Baumbach’s breakneck script, sentiments are unarticulated, aimed in the wrong direction or mangled into insults.
Matthew complains that his father never made him feel valued, yet Danny and Jean hear nothing from Harold but compliments about him. There’s a collective slump in the room when they ask for his computer password. “Try ‘Matthew’,” Harold mumbles.
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Source:: New Statesman