As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
A grounded, soulful, celebratory comedy about three mothers and their adult sons. The film explores the stage after motherhood, Otherhood, when you have to redefine your relationship with your children, friends, spouse, and most importantly, yourself.
Susan Sarandon was in Tammy with Melissa McCarthy. Rose Byrne was in Bridesmaids and Spy with Melissa McCarthy. See more »
When Zipper gives Marnie a ride on his Harley, they leave Du-Par's Restaurant in the Fairfax neighborhood heading north on Fairfax, then in the next shot are shown going north on Van Nuys Blvd. crossing Magnolia Blvd., which is over ten miles north in the San Fernando Valley. After that brief shot, they are shown sitting on a bench south of the Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica is nearly due west of the Fairfax area. Unless the BMW dealership in Sherman Oaks paid for a product placement, there's no reason for them to have gone so far north. See more »
[Talking about his chicken]
You wanna meet her?
At your house?
Well, she's been out at the bar most of the night but she's probably home by now.
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Review: A Mother's Love Honored in Heartwarming 'The Meddler'
Sometimes, the end of the world comes about in two ways. There's the scenario in which the actual apocalypse strikes, bringing about the general destruction of planet Earth and its beings. And then there is the time when one loses a parent.
In her first and now second back-to-back feature films, writer/director Lorene Scafaria has explored both end-of-days events, as well as the common theme of having her characters forced to find levity and comedy in, and finding the will to carry on amidst, the face of such devastating events – but only taking real-life experience from the latter.
In Scafaria's follow-up to her directorial debut, 2012's 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World', the 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' scribe offers an altogether joyful and uplifting tale of human life realism that, though still tinged with some mournful and heartbreaking tone, explores with such heart what happens after someone's world ends, the new reality that must then be accepted and the snags in life that come with it.
In Scafaria's own tale of personal devastation, the writer and director learned of her father's passing when in the middle of shooting 'Seeking a Friend'. Shocked, distraught, and altogether dazed, her mother proceeded to fly out to comfort and support her daughter through the production and finishing of the movie, and subsequently, becoming a new part of her daughter's crazed world.
'The Meddler' is exactly that story, a loving tribute of a film from Scafaria to and about her mother, and how the pair were faced with figuring out how the other fits into their lives. Marnie (Susan Sarandon), a spirited, life-affirming, if only slightly overbearing woman, so well- intentioned and good-hearted that she sees no boundaries or personal space between her and the people whose lives she stumbles into, and inadvertently helps in such genuine and caring ways. Her sunny and eager-to-assist disposition are great for everyone around her, including her daughter's new bride-to-be friend Jillian (Cecily Strong) and retired officer of the law "Zipper" (J.K. Simmons), who also manages to catch her eye – everyone, that is, except for her recently single and anxiety-ridden daughter Lori (Rose Byrne).
Scafaria shows Sarandon's wholesome meddling, but in such a loving way that Marnie's entire character is one that can't help but be looked at as endearing, sentimental, and caring in that classic, overly-attentive "mom" kind of way (a running joke shows Marnie leaving voicemail upon voicemail to a Lori, only asking her daughter to text her to make sure she's OK). Sarandon here is a true joy – this movie is a vehicle around the star, and she doesn't disappoint when on screen (in the beauty department as well), even when the story lacks in urgency or real development.
As a movie, 'The Meddler' is pretty much just a series of situationally-comedic events – she buys an iPad for a baby shower present, accidentally gets stoned when trying to get rid of a younger friend's bag of pot, and walks onto a movie set and becomes an "extra." The winning factor is that Sarandon herself shows so much life, still so comedically and dramatically deft and sharp, which should tickle the middle-aged-mom crowd out there.
'The Meddler', if not the most challenging or complex look at familial loss beyond being a good time, is a highly personal film. Scafaria's near-autobiographical film, that seeks to win over audiences with its funny look at a tragic life, feels tonally reminiscent of writer/director Maya Forbes' 2014 dramedy 'Infinitely Polar Bear', in which Mark Ruffalo stars as Forbes' manic- depressive father, telling a story of morose nature but with light-hearted and optimistic fever. And like that film, 'The Meddler' wins audiences over by its message of how important it is to continue to smile – to live – in the face of grief. Because the end of one world also means the beginning of a new one.
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