Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, The Meddler features a star-studded cast but Susan Sarandon’s performance stands above the rest.
Sarandon headlines a cast that includes Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong, Lucy Punch, Casey Wilson, Jason Ritter, Sarah Baker, Michael McKean, Laura San Giacamo, and Harry Hamlin.
Sarandon stars as Marnie Minervini, a window who remains an eternal optimist and is always there for her daughter, Lori (Byrne). Lori is single but she’s also a successful television writer. Marnie recently moved across the country to be able to liver near her daughter in Los Angeles. She’s not afraid to make each day an adventure by making friends or talk to strangers.
Unfortunately for Lori, Marnie is there for her a bit too much on the motherly side. Lori recently broke up with Jacob (Ritter) and Marnie wants to be there to support her. She also thinks she knows what Lori needs in order to have happiness or what her daughter should be telling her therapist. Lori is driven crazy by her mother’s meddling. She’s working on a pilot but her mother is leaving nearly six messages a day for her. And a countless number of texts, not to mention crossing the line by visiting Lori’s therapist.
Lori’s pilot takes her back to New York and she basically orders her mother to watch her dogs. Without her daughter around, this forces Marnie to put herself into the lives of other people, including one of Lori’s friends. She goes above and beyond to pay for a wedding of one of Lori’s friends. How many people would do such a thing in real life?!? There’s the sales clerk at Apple who she helps with going back to college. She volunteers at a local hospital. She even makes to be an extra on a film set, where she ends up meeting Zipper (Simmons).
Marnie certainly has no problem making friends. Unfortunately for her, she is afraid of being alone and can’t seem to let go of her late husband and improve the relationship with her daughter. Then there’s the relationship advances by Zipper and Mark (McKean). Marnie is soon able to realize that she needs to be secure in taking care of herself before helping others.
For writer-director Lorene Scafaria, who directed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World as her first feature, this is a very personal story. Her mom did in real life what Marnie does in the movie. She didn’t just make it for her mother but for anyone who was left behind and had to start over.
Released by Sony Pictures Classics on April 22, The Meddler is still playing in theaters.