The Meddler

In January 1992 I saw “Thelma & Louise” for the first time. Although I had seen movies with Susan Sarandon before that was the movie when I fell in love with her as an actress. The fact that she came into her prime as a film actress from 1987 to 1998 during her early 40s to her early 50s is truly amazing. Despite her ability to have such a great career at an age when most actresses fade away she has struggled to find quality parts once she reached her late 50s. It seems there really is only one Meryl Streep after all…But this year Susan has found her best role in years in “The Meddler”, which I saw on Thursday night.

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Despite the fact that I have had serious reservations about what an over the top Bernie Sanders supporter she has been I wanted to support her work as an actress. The fact is I am capable of separating somebody’s political views from their ability to do their job. I think Clint Eastwood is a great director. I think Kelsey Grammar is wonderful actor. If I can look past their conservative beliefs I can certainly look past Susan’s being too aggressive in her support of Bernie Sanders.

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After all, like Sally Field with this years “Hello, My Name is Doris” it is very possible “The Meddler” will be the last time Susan Sarandon has a leading role in a feature film.

The film is good but not great. It starts out as a straight comedy. At the beginning Marnie (Sarandon) is an overbearing mother/widow/friend. She does crazy things like call and text her daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne), several times a day, show up at baby showers when she not invited and befriend the guy who works at the apple store and drive him to night school.

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If the movie remained on that note it wouldn’t be very good but as the film progresses we see just how Marnie is “helping” these people as a way to aviod dealing with her husband’s death. By the end we are fully board with her journey and that of her daughter as they finally come to grips with the death of a man they both loved.

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Like the movie itself Susan Sarandon starts off being over the top but as she settles into the role she bring real depth to it. Rose Bryne takes Lori on a similar ride but instead of being helpful to avoid her pain she is hateful. J.K. Simmons is absolutely fantastic as Sarandon’s love interest. For an actor who as perfected the art of playing mean, hateful characters it is great to see him in a much softer role.

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I especially loved seeing Laura San Giacomo is a very small role, talk about an aging actress who has seen the parts dry up.

Although not as good as Sally Field’s “Hello, My Name is Doris”, it is great to see Sarandon shine in “The Meddler”. I do recommend it for anybody who likes Sarandon, Bryne, Simmons or a nice movie with a heart.

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