When I first thought back about this film I initially dismissed it as something that would only appeal to mothers and daughters of a certain age. A small sampling size. Then I came at it another way. Most films have a target audience. Action films are largely for men. Comic book/superhero films for teenagers. Twilight series for teenage girls. Animated films for young people and so on. So, just like that, with a little tweak of attitude and outlook, I was back on board.
Mothers and daughters have a particular relationship. A complex and sometimes convoluted one. It is inevitable that there will be ups and downs. Director Lorene Scafaria takes that and has created a film with is a loving tribute to how, at times, mothers will drive their daughters crazy.
After the death of her husband New York native Marnie (Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking, Thelma & Louise) moves across the country to Los Angeles to be close to her only daughter, screenwriter Lori (Rose Byrne – Bridesmaids, Neighbors). To say that Marnie wants to get involved in her daughter’s life is an understatement. Because of her ways she drives her daughter nuts, ends up highly involved in the life of Lori’s friend Jillian (Cicely Strong – from television’s Saturday Night Live) and an employee at the Apple store (Jerrod Carmichael – Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) and might have a potential love interest (J.K. Simmons – Whiplash, The Accountant).
Instead of coming off like a meddler, Marnie is so lovingly portrayed that you cannot help but root for her. Much of the success of that is owed to Susan Sarandon. She disappears so completely into the character of Marnie that you forget that she is the sexy and feisty actress. Her comedic timing is great and most of the gags will have you chuckling. Yes, it is aimed at 30-something women and their mothers, but who cares!
Director and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) has touched upon death in both her films. She seems preoccupied with it. When you discover that her father died while she was making her first film it becomes clear. This is part of the healing process. The message here is so positive that despite death being a part of everyone’s life and being hard to handle we should just move on – continue on with our life as long as we are on this planet.
-Commentary with Susan Sarandon and Lorene Scafaria
-The Real Marnie
-The Making of The Meddler
-Previews of The Bronze, Guernica, Hello My Name is Doris, Equity