The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Grudges and rivalries abound as three adult siblings converge in New York to contend with their prickly artist father — and his fading legacy.

Year: 2017
Certificate: 15
Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Dustin HoffmanNoah BaumbachAdam SandlerBen StillerElizabeth MarvelGrace Van PattenCandice BergenEmma ThompsonSakina JaffreyRebecca MillerDanny FlahertyAdam David Thompson

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Guest Reviewer: Erdem Ali

The movie follows the events of a small, upper middle-class family in New York. Danny Meyerowitz (Adam Sandler), a stay at home dad recently divorced from his wife after their daughter (Grace Van Patten) goes to college, moves in with his father Harold (Dustin Hoffman) and his third wife, alcoholic, Maureen (Emma Thompson). His father, a once successful sculptor and professor is currently in the process of deciding whether to sell his home due to the financial strains the homestead causes. Within this simple premise is also the way Harold loses his legacy as an artist and realises that he may not be as relevant as he once thought he was.

However, feeling that this is a family decision Harold meets with his children and asks them about what the best action would be with the house. His other children are Danny’s sister Jean (Elizabeth Marvel) and his half, and, somewhat estranged, brother Matthew (Ben Stiller). When an unfortunate event within the family takes place, this estranged group get a chance to spend some time with each other and get to know one another. Now as adults, they discuss their common and very different upbringings, allowing them to finally learn from the events of their childhood, most of which were caused by their shared farther and patriarch Harold.

Clearly, the film is not plot driven. Instead, this is a character piece where every member of the superb cast gets a chance to shine throughout the film’s running. Adam Sandler, in a much more serious role than one is used to seeing him in, shines throughout as this tragi-comic character. His performance allows him to be both sympathetic and comedic, in what is for Sandler a much more down to earth role than his usual over the top comedies. Noah Baumbach‘s script is excellent, striking the perfect tone of funny, sad, and heartfelt. His directing too, is almost standoffish, allowing the characters and the dialogue to tell the story. The one issue I had with the film was that it does feel a little slow and meandering at times. This is usually down to some events and discussions lasting longer than necessary.

The Meyerowitz Stories is an excellent film about the struggles of a distant, and at the same time close-knit family. The film truly shines with its heartfelt and often darkly comedic script, with the characters all being flawed in some ways, sometimes greatly, but still earning the audience’s sympathy. The film is certainly one of the better distributed exclusively by Netflix and should be at least tried by every subscriber who enjoys heartfelt dramatic comedies with wit.

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