The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (IMDB) was a bit of a surprise movie for me. It showed up in several podcasts I listen to – one of which was The Adam Sandcast (Apple Podcasts), so my first thought that this was another Adam Sandler Netflix low-effort vehicle.
But then I saw it pop up on Filmspotting (Filmspotting.net). At the time, I had no clue that this was a film directed by Noah Baumbach, so this was my first clue that The Meyerowitz Stories had some pedigree behind it. Filmspotting usually thumbs its nose at the Adam Sandler Netflix films, so to give it some attention came out of the blue for me.
Seeing it on one of the longer running film review podcasts sealed the deal – I was going to watch the movie anyway, but I made a concerted effort to watch it sooner than later so I could properly enjoy the podcasts. My next wave of surprise was at how good the movie was.
I’d have to say that Dustin Hoffman’s elder, partially dysfunctional Harold Meyerowitz was my favourite part of the movie. The next favourite part was that you could see pieces of him in each of his three children (played by Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel). I thought it was great how you could tell that these were his kids in terms of personality, if not looks.
The story is rather straightforward, so not much to write home about there. It’s more about the characters in the movie and how they react to what’s going on. It was nice to see Sandler give a bit more of a nuanced performance than his comedy stylings, though you could see bits of his comedy dip into the role (in a good way).
I REALLY liked how Baumbach plays with the screen; many times characters will be cut off mid-sentence, and often characters will pop in and out of the frame during a scene. I won’t try to delve too deeply into analyzing the use of these cuts and framing devices, but I feel like it helped to serve the nature of some of the characters.
I definitely recommend this one. It’s not an Adam Sandler movie, it’s just A Movie. Has me thinking it’s about time I re-visit a few other “artsy” films I haven’t seen in a long time.