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Thursday
Dec212017

The Meyerwitz Stories (New and Selected)- review

 

“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)" (2017)

Directed by Noah Baumbach

Starring  Adam Sandler,  Grace Van Patten,  Dustin Hoffman

Running Time 112 Minutes, Rated R.

4 Mitch’s out of 5

Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

 

The year is 2002 and Adam Sandler pulls off what Jim Carrey had just just done a few years earlier: going from buffoonery (at the time still awesome buffoonery) to his first critically acclaimed film that was much in part to his also critically acclaimed acting.  That film is Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love”, one of my absolute favorites.  I was so happy for the melding of those two talents that it seemed like a no doubter that Sandler would follow that film with another acting triumph much like Carrey did with “The Truman Show” to “The Man on the Moon”.  Well, a truckload of movies and payday films later, and it didn’t happen; sure “Spanglish”, “Reign Over Me”, and “Funny People” had their moments, but it wasn’t until now that Sandler and another talented director really pulled off that feat.  15 years after “Punch-Drunk Love” Noah Baumbach reminds us that Sandler really can act with Netflix’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

 

This is my favorite work from Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”, “Frances Ha”) to date.  Baumbach tells stories about dysfunctional family but he does it with so much love and care for that family.  In this film everything orbits around the patriarch Harold Meyerowitz played by Dustin Hoffman, who hasn’t had a role this good in many years.  Harold, a sculptor, was minor deal in the art world but has a major ego, which has loomed over his kids their whole lives; Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller), and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). Sandler taps into his sweet and rage persona much like Punch-Drunk, as the son who was all too often pushed aside for Stiller’s Matthew which formed both of their neurosis while Jean wasn’t left out from being bequeathed issues by always being complacent.  

Baumbach’s dialogue is exhausting in all the good ways.  As characters speak over each other, focusing on just what they’re trying to get out of the conversation, especially in Hoffman’s hard to like Harold you can understand how his offspring were eager to please until they weren’t anymore.  

Consider the The Meyerowitz Stories a winner, I just hope it’s not 2032 before Sandler’s next triumph.

John 5:19

 

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