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The Meddler

Score: 91%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 103 Mins.
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Audio: English, English - Audio
           Description Track, French (PAR),
           Portuguese, Thai 5.1 Dolby

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese
           (Traditional), French, Korean,
           Portuguese, Spanish, Thai


  • Commentary with Susan Sarandon and Lorene Scafaria
  • Gag Reel
  • The Real Marnie
  • The Making of The Meddler

The Meddler, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), is a very personal tale about the relationship between a mother and daughter. Marnie (Susan Sarandon) lost her husband, Joe, about a year ago and, having been well taken care of financially upon his death, she decides to pull up stakes from New Jersey and move to sunny Los Angeles to be closer to her screenwriter daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids). As Marnie tries to process her grief, she becomes intermingled into Lori's everyday life, constantly injecting her own thoughts about what Lori should and shouldn't do - especially as it pertains to her breakup with former boyfriend, Justin (Jason Ritter). But it doesn't stop there. Marnie goes to Lori's friend's baby shower as her plus one, even though Lori blows off the party, she has sessions with Lori's therapist, discussing how she feels Lori could manage better in her life, and she even befriends an Apple employee named Freddy (Jerrod Carmichael) and encourages him to go to school. When Lori springs it on Marnie that she'll be working in New York for a few months and needs her to hold down the fort and look after her house and dogs, Marnie isn't sure what to do with herself, but she fills her life with what she needs to keep busy. Things like planning (and paying for) a dream wedding for one of Lori's friends (Cecily Strong, SNL) who got married at the Justice of the Peace, or ferrying Freddy to classes and helping him study, or even volunteering at the hospital and making friends there, allows Marnie to help people in her own special way. It seems Marnie is so busy trying to help other people in her life that she doesn't help herself, specifically as it pertains to finalizing her husband's passing with a headstone or going back to visit his family back East.

By happenstance one day, she wanders onto a live set in L.A. and she is placed into the film as an extra. It is there that she meets a retired cop working on set, Randy Zipper (J.K. Simmons, Spider-Man), whom she later bumps into and a sweet friendship is kindled. However, whenever any man gets even remotely close to her, even something as harmless as a lunch invitation, Marnie bolts the other way and she does this with Zipper, just as she did earlier with a nice man named Mark (Michael McKean, X Files) she met at the baby shower. She's just not quite ready to end the chapter with her deceased husband.

When she finally visits Lori in New York and gets together with Joe's family, she realizes it is time to move on with her life. Now that she's finally come to terms with Joe's death and decides where to scatter his ashes, she finds herself in need of a policeman and fortunately, she still has Zipper's card and he still has some feelings for her. As Marnie goes about redefining who she is without her husband, Lori begins to see her "meddling" mom for the true gem that she is.

The Meddler is a definite labor of love and a precious film. Susan Sarandon is absolutely adorable as Marnie and, in watching the special features, you'll get to meet Lorene Scafaria's mom who actually inspired the character of Marnie. I'm very close to my mom and seeing this mother/daughter dynamic play out was interesting and entertaining. There's clearly a close bond and deep love there, but also obviously some boundary issues as the pair work out their grief over losing someone so close to both of them. The special features are really entertaining and include a gag reel and featurettes on The Real Marnie (as mentioned earlier), a making-of for the film, and also commentary with Sarandon and Scafaria, which is fun to listen to and provides a wealth of background info.

The Meddler is a funny, sweet and poignant film about mothers and daughters and their relationships, and about how people cope when they suffer the loss of someone important in their life. I applaud Lorene Scafaria for bearing her soul in this film and her mom is obviously a great lady. Both women are really good sports to allow themselves to be portrayed so candidly, both the good and the bad. I can say I watched this movie with my mom and, while we both saw a bit of ourselves and each other in the characters, we also both laughed a lot.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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