Another Family Affair – The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

Didn’t see this coming.  So this is about the Meyerowitz family (expectedly).  The father (Dustin Hoffman) is a sculptor artist that never quite made it.  Events bring the entire family together, so you just know that old grievances are going to pop up.  If there is something to be said here, it has to be that we have a new Adam Sandler movie that I actually kind of like.  I thought the only one out there was Punch-Drunk Love, but truly proving that a broken clock is right twice a day, there’s now a second item to add to the list… although this is nowhere close to being the masterpiece that Punch-Drunk Love is, so don’t get your expectations out of whack.

Believe me, there is nobody out there that is more surprised than I am.

To be fair, this isn’t just an Adam Sandler movie, it is more of an ensemble piece where he actually serves a purpose as opposed to being perpetually annoying.  It really plays more like an art house comedy, which makes sense, because this is from critic darling director Noah Baumbach.  I didn’t realize his name was attached until I looked it up about halfway through watching it, and if I am being honest, I really haven’t liked any of his movies I’ve seen so far, as all of them feature protagonists that are grating (although to be fair, I still haven’t seen The Squid and the Whale, which I hear is his best).  The Meyerowitz Stories does feature highly flawed characters, but they are more endearing because they have a good rhythm to their conversations.  Also, you can understand where each one of them is coming from, which makes it far more relatable than his other movies.  The only person that you don’t always completely get in this is the father, but then there is a reveal that makes sense of everything as the story goes on.

Dustin Hoffman has still got it, even at the age of 80.

As highly as I have been speaking of this, it’s not a perfect movie, although simply not wanting to drink myself silly during an Adam Sandler movie is a giant step up.  The story itself is very slice of life, and like most of the movies out there that are sold as such, it does kind of just cut off when it reaches its conclusion.  It is a story that does have a voice, and I did appreciate the comedic timing and how it will just cut away for a good offbeat laugh.  This is much better than I anticipated, and it’s a quality family dramedy that is easy to get into.

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire

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