Review by Dustin Heller
The Meddler is a new dramedy starring Susan Sarandon which was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria. Scafaria is best known for her adapted screenplay for the excellent Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and also her directorial debut Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Along with Sarandon, the film stars Rose Bryne, J. K. Simmons, Cicely Strong (of SNL fame), Lucy Punch, and Jason Ritter. Opening in Indianapolis on May 20, The Meddler is rated PG-13 for brief drug content.
Marnie (Sarandon) is a recent widow who has recently moved from New York to Los Angeles in order to be closer to her daughter, Lori (Byrne). Having a lot of time on her hands and more money than she will ever need, Marnie spends her days and nights meddling in her daughter’s affairs. This drives Lori crazy and when an opportunity with her job allows her to go back to New York for a while, Marnie is lost.
While Lori is gone, Marnie begins to plug into the lives of some other people who need help as well. Whether it’s needing money for a dream wedding or just giving someone a ride when they don’t have a car, Marnie is always helping out. Through this, she meets a former cop named Zipper (Simmons) who she really likes, but can’t let go of her deep love for her late husband. While Marnie does a great job of making the lives of everyone around her better, she starts to realize that she needs to find her own happiness and take care of herself as well.
The Meddler is all about Susan Sarandon and she gives one of the best performances of her career. She is so charismatic and charming that you fall in love with her character from the opening frame. She is literally in every scene of the film and shows so much range as an actor. The film is somewhat of a feel-good movie that is targeted towards females and more specifically towards mothers. To that point, I’m still confused by the film’s Indianapolis release date as this would have been the perfect film to take your mother to on Mother’s Day a couple of weeks ago.
Anyway, the film has a big heart and is actually quite funny at times. The storyline is good and well-written but probably plays it a little too safe at times, but it’s forgivable. I can’t say enough about Susan Sarandon in this movie and I sure hope there are more roles like this in her future. Whether it is a special night out with mom or even a girl’s night, The Meddler is a worthwhile and rewarding time at the movies.
The Meddler opens in theaters on Friday, May 20