Uh, you guys. Something monumental is occurring. This is the second Adam Sandler movie that I’ve reviewed on The Quayside Review that is… kind of excellent. (The other being Uncut Gems, of course). Like Uncut Gems, The Meyerowitz Stories is quite serious, and not cringe-worthy at all, which seems so out of the box for him!
This is another hyper-realistic, real life tale from the brilliant Noah Baumbach, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite directors. First and foremost however, I have to mention how incredible this cast is. Who ever took a punt on Emma Thompson being able to do that accent and put her in this role deserves all the awards. This movie put her a cut above Tilda Swinton for me (she’s quirky but not overwhelmingly annoying). Dustin Hoffman is perfect as always – he’s actually the MVP that glues the whole thing together. Sandler and Ben Stiller play a pair of straight-laced brothers, which is far removed from the slapstick they’re used to. This cast is expertly put together, making for an astonishing ensemble on the whole.
As a little Easter Egg on the side, there’s a casual cameo from Sigourney Weaver at one point. I’m always supportive of two minutes of Weaver screen time, and this is a little snippet within the movie that I just found utterly genius.
Back on the directorial front, Meyerowitz has a typically Baumbach tone and feel to it – it’s very realistic and intimate whilst maintaining an artistic, unique flair. It’s actually not unlike Marriage Story in this respect… is this a signifier that Baumbach is finding his stylistic strengths? As it turns out, I’ve watched another of his movies since this one (review coming soon!) and I can confirm that he is creating a catalogue of movies that are unmistakably his. These are the signs of a future Best Director Oscar winner without a doubt.
On top of the stellar casting, the dialogue is so snappy. The script has so much realism and the actors are the prime reason that it works as well as it does. Movies like this just make me wish I lived in New York, and it is amongst some good company when it comes to showing the nitty gritty of NYC life in film. There’s one particular scene entailing some half-hearted car vandalism that was the stand out for me. This is one instance of using humour to cut through some of the more serious story lines. Brilliantly done.
I’ve umm’d and ahh’d over what rating to give this film. It won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure. In the end, I’ve had to put it down to personal preference. And my personal opinion just happens to be that this is borderline perfection.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is available to stream on Netflix UK.
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