Movie Review - The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Adam Sandler (Big Daddy and Grown Ups) stars as Danny Meyerowitz, a musician who never really found success. He was married and has a teenage daughter named Eliza, played by Grace Van Patten (Tramps). She's going to college to become a filmmaker and he's recently divorced from his wife who supported the family, so he has to move back home with his father by whom he thought felt disappointed. They live together in his father's New York home and try to reconnect after some distance.
Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents and Night at the Museum) also stars as Matthew Meyerowitz, an accountant who became a business manager for wealthy artists in Los Angeles. He eventually started his own firm and makes a great deal of money. He too is having marital issues but he talks to his little son regularly. He returns to the east coast to help his father and stepmother with their estate planning, including selling the New York home. Matthew also feels a distance from his dad due to his parents splitting up. He also feels a disappointment from his dad, real or imagined, because he didn't pursue an artistic career.
Elizabeth Marvel (Homeland and House of Cards) co-stars as Jean Meyerowitz, a filmmaker who currently makes ends meet by working at Xerox. She has a very deadpan sense about her. A lot of that stems from issues regarding her father too. Her age is never said, but she might be the middle-child, in between her two brothers with Danny being the eldest and Matthew being the youngest. She doesn't necessarily get a feeling of disappointment from her father but rather a feeling of disappointment toward him, emanating largely from one significant incident in her past.
Writer-director Noah Baumbach has yet again crafted a very smart look at the lives of a particular kind of family, which shares some DNA or echoes to his Oscar-nominated film, The Squid and the Whale (2005). Yet, there's such a distinctiveness that I wouldn't be surprised if Baumbach was again nominated in the category of Best Writing, Original Screenplay. I also wouldn't be surprised if it got bumped into Best Picture.
Sandler gives his best performance since Punch-Drunk Love (2002), if ever. Stiller continues in his string of great performances that he's really been concentrating over the past decade. It's nothing quirky and weird like in The Royal Tenenbaums, although I got similar vibes here. This is the third film Stiller has made with Baumbach and this film is perhaps on a continuum with Greenberg (2010) and While We're Young (2014). This one though is the better of those in that continuum.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 52 mins.
In Select Theaters, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami and Dallas.
Available on Netflix.