‘The Meyerowitz Stories’
Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten, Judd Hirsch
4.5 (Out of 5) Globes
Plot: Recently divorced Danny Meyerowitz (Adam Sandler) heads into New York City so that he can live with his father Harold (Dustin Hoffman), an under-achieving sculptor, and his current wife Maureen (Emma Thompson). Following his long-touted divorce, which was only instigated because his daughter Eliza (Grace Van Patten) has now finally gone to college, Danny struggles to find his place in the world. These fears are only exacerbated by his increased exposure to his overbearing father, while the return of his step-brother Matthew (Ben Stiller) adds to his issues, too. “The Meyerowitz Stories” shifts perspectives from Matthew to Danny and then to Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), as they try to examine their past and look to the future.
Review: The threat of Adam Sandler turning into a fine actor has loomed large for quite some time. But for every “Punch-Drunk Love”, “Reign Over Me”, and “Funny People” there are half a dozen more like “Just Go With It”, “Grown Ups”, and ”Jack And Jill”. Considering the paychecks he gets for the latter, and the fact it is where he has always looked most at home, it’s unsurprising that he sides with comedy so often. But “The Meyerowitz Stories" is the ultimate proof of the acting heights that Sandler can reach, as he embodies the pent-up aggression, frustrations, but indomitable spirit of Danny Meyerowitz in an increasingly rich and inherently hilarious fashion. Sandler is the finest, but just one, example of writer and director Noah Baumbach’s pitch perfect casting for the film, as Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten, and especially Dustin Hoffman are also sublime. Noah Baumbach himself also flourishes, overseeing his most complete work as a filmmaker since “The Squid And The Whale”. Baumbach doesn’t just potently control the ebb and flow of the film’s various points of views and plot points, but they build in a poetic, emotional, thought-provoking, and effecting fashion, too, while the film is laced with numerous laugh out loud exchanges and lines. Wry, observant, while just about avoiding any pretentious pitfalls, “The Meyerowitz Stories” is ultimately so delightful that it rivals “Okja” as the best Netflix release to date.