The Post Goes Through Past Shows and Movies Featuring Locals
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Full disclosure: I love Adam Sandler.
I even have a soft spot for his less-than-well-received films, like Jack and Jill (which currently sits at 3% on Rotten Tomatoes). So, when I had the chance to watch the longtime Palisadian in one of his more serious roles for this column, I jumped at the chance.
This week, I watched Academy Award-nominated writer and director Noah Baumbach’s dark comedy “The Meyerowitz Stories.” The story follows three adult siblings, Danny (Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), as they sort through complicated family ties—many of which come to light when their father Harold (Dustin Hoffman) spends a chunk of time in the hospital in a coma.
Danny, a doting father to his college-age daughter Eliza, clashes with his younger brother Matthew, a successful, stressed out financier who is struggling to connect to his wife and young kid. Usually separated by an entire country, LA-based Matthew finds himself back in NY, taking on his family head on.
I found the emotional rollercoaster the siblings were on to be relatable. From dealing with potentially saying goodbye to their father to what to do with his house and his art, tensions were high and the three siblings nailed the nuances that come with such a situation.
Scenes that highlighted these roles were when Jean, Matthew and Danny were dealing with doctors and nurses at the hospital their dad was staying in—with their panicked abrasiveness to the staff and to each other—which seemed all too realistic a situation when adults with very different personalities are forced to act as a unit.
I also felt real annoyance at Harold’s wife Maureen (Emma Thompson), a sort of useless but overall well-intentioned alcoholic who, as next of kin, forbids the staff from answering questions from the Meyerowitz siblings about their dad’s condition, instead making them go through her for information.
It is jarring to see Sandler in such a serious role, but I felt that he pulled it off. There are some scenes—spitting expired orange juice out and amusing outbursts when looking for parking in New York—where the more familiar, comedic side of Sandler comes out.
The Netflix-produced flick garnered a generally positive response, taking home the Boston Society of Film Critics award for Best Cast and the Palm Dog Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the family pet, Einstein.
“The Meyerowitz Stories,” which was released in October 2017, is available for streaming on Netflix, but with an TV-MA rating for nudity and language, this is another film best watched without the kids.
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