The Meddler Review

Just wanted to give a quick review to the movie I saw today called The Meddler.  This is a cute little indie film starring Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, and JK Simmons. If you like this review on youtube please give it a thumbs up and if you aren’t subscribed please do! Thanks so much.

It’s about a woman named Marnie who has been fairly recently widowed and has moved out to Los Angeles to be near her daughter. Marnie is bored and spends her day trying to fix her daughter’s life. Her daughter is struggling with a recent breakup and trying to make a new career work in Hollywood as a writer. Marnie drives her daughter crazy but manages to meet new people including a hunky cop played by JK Simmons. By the end of the film she has a new collection of friends who love her and is in a strong place in her life.

meddler2The Meddler definitely has groan-worthy, cheesy elements that some people will abhor. However, the cast is so winning and Sarandon is so likable I enjoyed it. She does a good job of taking the character just over the normal realm of behavior without being a cartoon like the recent My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.

There are also many sweet moments between Marnie and her daughter, Marnie and the kid who works at the Apple store, Marnie and the patient she works with volunteering at a hospital, Marnie with a lesbian couple she helps with their wedding.  They all have nice heartfelt moments that I bought.

meddler4This film reminded me a lot of I’ll See You in My Dreams from last year but not quite as sad. It also felt like the Marigold Hotel movies.  All are about older people, women usually, who are trying to find out their role and what to do with their free time. I like that stories are being told well to this demographic of moviegoers.

I also really enjoyed the scenes between Sarandon and Simmons. I kind of wish we could have gotten even more of their relationship. They had terrific chemistry and I hope we pair them up again soon.

meddler3So The Meddler doesn’t reinvent the wheel.  It’s a sweet little movie about a woman who meddles in her daughters life too much.  It’s as simple as that.  If that sounds like something you might enjoy than give it a watch. If it sounds too sappy for you than it probably is. I enjoyed it and am glad I saw it.

Overall Grade B

Rewrite Movie Review

The-Rewrite-movie-posterApril is just my month for liking movies that other people don’t like or that at least aren’t championed by many. That said movies like Jupiter Ascending and Longest Ride I enjoyed for what they were but didn’t love them. Now let me get behind a movie I really love that nobody saw called The Rewrite.  It is exactly the kind of movie I LOVE.

Nora Ephron is my literary muse.  I love her writing.  The little moments of commentary about books, movies, Starbucks, New York, whatever it is.  I love how funny her scripts are and yet her characters feel real and have moments of depth and compassion rarely captured in a light comedy.  I mention Ephron because The Rewrite was as close to a Nora Ephron movie I have seen since her passing in 2012.

Since 2012 very few romantic comedies have even been made let alone good one’s and for a huge fan of the genre it has been very sad. I miss going to the movies to feel good and be with people that I liked and who made me laugh.  I sincerely miss it, so that is part of the reason The Rewrite made me so excited.

rewrite 8It is perhaps appropriate a return to the romcom would star the key of the genre, Hugh Grant.  In The Rewrite he plays Keith Michaels an Oscar winning screenwriter who has fallen on hard times after the luster of his youthful career has faded (and his wife leaves him for the director of his big hit…).  He doesn’t have a relationship with his son, has no creative energy,  can’t get a script sold and is even considering a sequel to his Oscar winning film- something he said he would never do.

His agent played by Caroline Aaron convinces him to go and teach in a small town called Binghampton and having little else to do he agrees. Naturally he starts out feeling that teaching is beneath him and he dismisses class rationalizing that ‘talent can’t be taught so why waste everyone’s time’.

The cast is uniformly excellent with Marisa Tomei, JK Simmons, Allison  Janney, Chris Elliott, Bella Heathcote and more.

DSC_5395.NEFI particularly loved Janney who is an English professor who loves Jane Austen and has some very funny dialogue with Grant on that topic and many others.  It is especially funny because Hugh Grant was in a Jane Austen movie (Sense and Sensibility) so there are more than one winks to the audience in the script.

rewrite 4Simmons and Elliott are a lot of fun as fellow teachers.  Simmons is in love with his family.  He cries every time he mentions them.  Elliott is Grant’s neighbor and he has a lot of funny observations of those around him.

I loved the students and even though they are tropes they are well written tropes.  There’s the feminist girl, nerd, slut etc but they are funny and the scripts they are writing have a lot of good jokes that made me laugh (like the Bar Mitzvah gone wrong crossed with Dirty Dancing…).

rewrite 2Tomei is lovely as an older student in Grant’s class who is writing a script based on her life as a single Mom. They have terrific chemistry which is essential in this type of movie.

I have mostly male readers of this blog for some reason so I am sure most of you will probably discount this as a ‘chick flick’ and if you do that’s a shame.  It has so many funny lines about work, entertainment, pop culture, movies, writing, education etc.  It really reminded me of a Nora Ephron script and maybe even a lighter Woody Allen like Midnight in Paris.

All I know is this is exactly the kind of movie I love.  You might say it is the Rachel hat trick- funny, romantic, with a nice heart to it. If you are a writer or love movies I think you will particularly enjoy it.  Have an open mind and give it a shot.  If any of you do see it let me know what you think.

As far as content there is a little language and talk of an affair with a student although nothing is shown.

Overall Grade- A+  Content Grade- A