Family dysfunction is rarely this entertaining, poignant or effortless to watch. This is Baumbach’s most relaxed and naturalistic work yet, and a career best performance from Adam Sandler.
Directed by Noah Baumbach
An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.
Ah yes, family dysfunctional. Everyone has it, and frankly its an over mined sub genre in film. With entries often pushing melodrama and character arcs to neat, organised catharsis, it has become as predictable as bad romantic comedies. Which is why i’m so happy to report that ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ is one of the best dramedies I’ve seen all year!
Told through various character perspectives in no real cinematic structure, there’s a naturalism to the style. A humbleness that revels in subtleties rather than climatic overtures. And by god is it refreshing. There isn’t a drop of pretension to be found in the film, no barriers between you and the characters, who are all lovingly played by an assured, veteran cast.
Adam Sandler is a standout in what is already an outstanding ensemble. This is a performance quite different from what you might expect. It isnt a retread of Punch Drunk Love, or a dramatic overhaul of his past characters either. He instead lends a striking amount of humanity to Danny, which can be said of the entire cast. But Ben Stiller in particular deserves a shout out. I’ve never quite seen him pull off drama this straight faced and earnest before, and like most of the film, the sporadic dramatic beats are interspersed throughout his performance.
Yeah i cant quite say enough nice things about ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’. This was a joy to watch.So i’ll just say this, if you love Wes Anderson films, in particular ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ this is an easy recommend. And while it lacks the formalism and ridiculously cinematic glory of Anderson’s style, there is far more humanity is Noah Baumbach straight faced approach. Meyerowitz Stories may not provide anything radically new, but it provides a great entry in the tired list of dysfunctional comedies, along with some of the year’s best performances.