MOVIE REVIEW: The Meddler

Susan Sarandon stars as a recently widowed woman who leaves behind her New York life to move to LA so that she can be more of a part of her adult daughters life.  The trouble is that her help is not wanted by her only child, so she goes about helping others.  In the midst of this she meets a retired cop who has an instant attraction to it.

Right I’ll be honest here.  When I sat down to watch this I thought that it was going to be a total car crash, just like Mother’s Day a few weeks ago.  I thought that it was going to be overly sentimental and just terrible.  The first 10 minutes I thought it was going that way, and I was losing myself in a bag of candy that I brought because I thought that would offer me something to enjoy.  Being honest, as I always am to you awful people, I have to tell you that I was wrong, so wrong.  That rarely happens.  So the quick review is that this is one of the best acted, well scripted, and enjoyable watches of the last few months.  It’s all down to the performances.

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You have Sarandon in her best written role that she has had since probably Dead Man Walking, playing  Marnie The Meddler.  She’s trying her best to be the happy widow but misses her husband with a passion that can’t be masked over.  One of the most outstanding roles of her career Sarandon and that is saying something.  She’s funny, smart, giving, and continuing to mask her grief.  You then have Rose Bryne who plays the depressed daughter, whose life is in turmoil, as she makes a pilot for a TV show.  Bryne shows that she can actually act here as she leaves behind the oddball comedies that seem to plague her career.  But the performance that I loved the most, and for a chick flick this is one that guys can love, is that of J.K. Simmons.  The powerhouse actor shows a different side to his personality.  His calm and charming retired police officer is just a joy to watch.

So guys, after Me Before You I lost my man card, I thought that I might have gotten it back by now, but just like Al Pacino in The Godfather it seems as though when it comes to chick flicks ‘Just when I think I’m out they pull me back in.’

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While the film isn’t perfect and there are times it gets a little sweet to the point that my diabetes meter goes insane, and you question the motivations of those who seem to take advantage of Sarandon’s character without explanation.  There is so much good, joy, and hope in the film that you just leave the cinema with a massive smile on your face.  For those of you in relationships, suckers, you can use this film as a perfect date night movie, it’s just great for couples.  But this is open to older people who are suffering from the empty nest syndrome that need to realise their lives are far from over.

Remember that movies bring us together in ways that we should hope our elected officials could do.  Movies don’t point out our differences they just bring us together to see a story that we all can relate to, we can all talk about the next day, and we can all fall into the entertainment.  Yes it’s sugary, no it doesn’t challenge you,  and yes it entertains you throughout and gives you the pleasant feelings that you long for.  Now I’m going to print off another temporary Man Card probably in time for it to be torn up at the next film.

Director: Lorene Scafaria
Writer: Lorene Scafaria
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons

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