Is "Cringeworthy" now a Genre? If so, this must be a significant example. Casting is perfect, with three of the most Cringeworthy actors in Hollywood: Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler. Sandler's singing is as bad as could possibly be and still be believable. His limp is a brilliant idea, as it makes him look like even more of a jerk than he probably really is. 2.7*Curb Your Enthusiasm without the jokes.
TV. After so many fancy movies trying to make humor that was both urban and mind specific, sophisticated and somewhat crude, there's finally a Baumbach film that illustrates a well structured script (this director doesn't have a formal identity), without "style deviations", optimally supported by the actors - despite my lack of interest for Stiller and Sandler, his usual cronies.
Although lacking the habitual attractive charm and magic spell that made Baumbach a treasure of the contemporary American cinema, “The Meyerowitz Stories” is perfectly good to watch, demonstrating a genuine keenness to amuse.
Dialogue, dialogue and more. This really moves along at a cracking pace in that wordy, neurotic Woody Allen flavour. Digging deep into the deeply flawed family unit there is much to like here with great performances across the board. A touch too long for my money. 3 stars
I can see how a Woody Allen fan might appreciate it; I am not, and did not. These characters are exhaustingly pretentious and self-absorbed, and the film's treatment of them is shallow and cruel. The pornographic subplot with young Grace Van Patten, who might be the only sympathetic character in the film, is weird and even creepy.
Baumbach returns to the process of working through (and getting over?) his relationship with his almost famous father, novelist Jonathan Baumbach, in this sort of sequel in spirit to The Squid and the Whale. A minor work, but Stiller, and especially Sandler, are pretty great, and pretty major.
Once again, a Baumbach film that is not nearly poor enough in and of itself to justify how much I actively dislike the guy. I mean: the thing can be a little bit fun. That being said, the madcapped zany screwball "fun" side of Baumbach is precisely where it becomes so easy to localize how shallow and flippant he is. This man ain't no Howard Hawks. I am impressed that Dustin Hoffman retains here a real freshness.
Baumbach's Meyerowitzs are charged with cumulative emotional baggage, a product of a complex family dynamic and heavily repressed issues. As the film progresses, the characters go through a slow and methodical process of discovery, which is equal parts cathartic and confusing. And that’s the strength of Baumbach’s writing, his ability to explore in painful detail the minutia and volatility of our intimate emotions.