The Meddler

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The Meddler

After the death of her husband, New Yorker Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) has moved out to LA to be closer to her scriptwriter daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne). This is not something Lori appreciates, as Marnie calls her constantly to narrate her day in between dropping around uninvited to check up on things (thanks to a recent relationship break-up, things are not going well). Marnie is just self-aware enough and bubbly enough to make Lori feel bad about pushing her away, while Marnie – extremely cashed-up after her bereavement – starts to help near-strangers as a way of filling her time.

Writer-director Lorene Scafaria wisely chooses to delve into her characters rather than playing out their situation for big laughs or high drama, letting Marnie’s past (she’s clearly lost the love of her life) and her current loneliness add a richness to her constant, very funny, occasionally infuriating babble. Being played by Susan Sarandon doesn’t hurt, while Byrne manages to make even burnt out struggle seem funny. It’s a comedy where the people come first, and they come first to each other too; there’s a lot of love in this film that helps damp down the urge to throttle Marnie when she goes too far yet again.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris