Laughs a plenty, comforting maternal moments and one hell of a moustache on J.K. Simmons are at the forefront of The Meddler. Glancing at the title, one can only guess how this film is going to pan out and law of averages, you probably guessed right. Sarandon shines in this sickly sweet Scafaria directed mother, daughter comedy – yet all we get is a generic formula here and sadly not much else.
Such an actress as Susan Sarandon is a diamond in the rough. Pure talent that simply oozes off the screen and this woman certainly does everything she can with her quirky widower Marnie she plays here. This clearly torn up woman after the death of her late husband filling her life with meaningless tasks and seemingly pokes her nose in everyone’s business. Sometimes such meddling benefits, yet when she constantly bombards every aspect of her grown up director of a daughter’s life, things start to take their toll. As much as Lori allows her mother to interfere, Marine takes things one step too far and it takes to getting on a plane and throwing herself into a creative project to truly escape her constant phone calls and texts – well for a second or two anyway.
The Meddler’s biggest problem is that we all know what is coming a mile off. Despite the down to earth dynamic that these two share, there is still something that tugs here making us think we haven’t witness anything original. Perhaps this is trying so hard to be sentimental that all you really yearn for is a scene that isn’t drenched in sad music or overly cliched. At times it seemed a few of the male characters were just placed there for the sake of it – written in because that’s the Hollywood way of writing, instead of this woman truly exploring herself and what she can take from the world. By the by, the humour such goes hand in hand with such characters.
Rose Bryne plays Lori with enough damage and charm whilst J.K. Simmons brings enough smoothness to his leather clad, motorcycle riding ex cop come film set security guard to easily be in the running for a new age, chicken loving retired Bond. As Marnie finds something she didn’t quite expect she would find, she also helps a lesbian couple fund their dream wedding and does eventually tone it down with her daughter, allowing the film to become a rather nifty tale. Not to mention her southern yank accent gives way for humour on every count.
The Meddler certainly has it’s moments; as Marnie accidentally wonders onto a film set a certain magic awakens in her. Of course, the fact that her daughter is a successful writer/ director and we see her shoot a pilot in Hollywood no less (no, not the guy who flies the plane!) this is sure to spark electricity in all the budding filmmakers out there.
On one hand a mediocre story, that sadly Sarandon can’t save and on the other a fun, loving, feel good flick that is sure to make you smile and possibly want to call your mother just to check that she is okay…
THE MEDDLER IS OUT 24th JUNE!