Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman star in this chilling story about a dysfunctional family that unites around different events involving their abrasive and neglecting father. Sandler plays Danny Meyerowitz the middle child and older brother of Ben Stiller’s character Matthew Meyerowitz.
Elizabeth Marvel also costars as the eldest Meyerowitz and the most neglected child, Jean. The movie, written and directed by Academy Award Nominated Screenwriter Noah Baumbach, premiered on Netflix this past Friday, Oct. 13 on Netflix. With a star-studded cast of comedians one would expect this to be another bad comedy with lots of clichés on the stereotypical dysfunctional family.
However, Baumbach does an amazing job at mixing creative scene cuts, dialogue and the raw realness of the characters to question one’s relationship with a father that is never there. The film showcases the downfall of a talented artist (Hoffman) who was never publicly glorified for his art and centers around Hoffman’s character and his one-sided relationship with his children. The three Meyerowitz siblings are, for all intents and purposes, messed up.
The story is told from the different perspectives of the Meyerowitz family members, sometimes cutting the end of the scene to display another point of view of the events. These “little stories” that are told by the individual Meyerowitz have you feeling sympathy and anger for them.
The siblings are all in their mid 50’s and give off the repressed emotions of children who were never truly loved by their father while dealing with the dysfunction of their own separate family lives. This film portrays the different perspective of a father’s “love” on his individual children. The acting, directing and writing is something to be praised.
The script presents a discomforting real story that many with abnormal families can understand. This is an amazingly-written movie with a simple character development that doesn’t feel forced.
The infectious writing has you paying more attention to the dialogue than the Manhattan setting. The artistic design of the directing and writing will keep you watching until the bitter, open-ended ending.