Baumbauch explores several familial themes in his latest comedy-drama film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and does so rather successfully.
The film follows the Meyerowitz family, who may look at times dysfunctional but in many ways come off as very normal. The film follows several family characters firstly Harold Meyerowitz who is played by Dustin Hoffman who is the father of the family, an artist who never really made it and therefore protests in his own stubborn ways. Whilst, his three children Danny, Matthew and Jean played by Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Elizabeth Marvel are here trying to pick up the pieces whilst getting their own relationships with each other back to normal.
To begin, the film is fantastic. Other than having a great story it engages well with its audience and has some great subtle and abrupt humour, which is achieved through terrific comedic editing and New York-ish humour. The acting in this film is solid, with great performances by Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman who explore a range of emotions and family dynamics. The stand out performances being by Sandler and Stiller who are normally known for their tad cheap comedies that do not go far critically. However, this time Sandler pulled through in this serious role by maintaining himself well – just like in ‘Punch Drunk Love’ showcasing he can act well. Whilst, Stiller put an amazing performance in a long and emotional speech about his dad, which really sold the film to me.
The film’s flaws do not go too far and could be argued are too weak to damage the body of the film, with some scenes arguably taking too long to come through but in many ways just showcasing the agonising pains the characters are going through with their past and current situations. Another flaw that I feel let down the film is the introduction of characters, even though it was done comedically I felt like it restarted the engine of the film too much at times and therefore made the film feel stuttery. As for those that think the name is too long and complicated, this is not an issue for me and in fact I think it is an artistic and a refreshing way to name a film.
Overall, the film is worth a watch and a film that is worth buying. With Netflix having the rights to the film, millions of subscribers will be happy to enjoy this refreshing family-based comedy. Baumbauch has outdone himself and hopefully can spark more great collaborations between this cast and crew. ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ is heartwarming and honest, which what so many family dramas lack nowadays.