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.
No prizes for originality - a trio of siblings squabble over the emotional and artistic legacy of their cantankerous patriarch - but a stonking cast and zippy script means we get genuine belly laughs as well as the usual wry, dry smirkish humour, which in turn helps it sidestep the irritating first world smugness that mars most of Baumbach's earlier films.
Can we all agree that this is a wee bit better than the previous three Adam Sandler films? Facetiousness aside, this is a beautiful movie about emotions impossible to convey and feelings that are difficult to put into words. There's a wonderful scene that has Sandler lamenting the fact that his father never did one big thing to anger him, but rather various, tiny things that could be his best moment of acting yet.
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.
Neither awful nor amazing. It feels more like a masterclass for acting specialists exercising counter dynamics rather than a compelling tale of affable dysfunctionals. Lacking the comedic or dramatic edge required to surpass Baumbach's previous efforts. Not enough to really raise the bar.
Baumbach revisits old territory (there are clear echoes of The Squid and the Whale in this, as well as the freewheeling form of Mistress America and Frances Ha). The Meyerowitzes aren't so much dysfunctional as afunctional, yet, amid the wilfully unreciprocated dialogue and bickering, there is a robust drama and a lot of great comedy. Adam Sandler is the standout of a fine cast.
Loved this! May have to reassess my best of Baumbach list now. Everyone in this is great but surprisingly Sandler is fantastic with the dramatic stuff. Funny, heartwarming and especially touching at moments.
Now you have another underated and spectacularly messy gem with some low key frantic storytelling to talk about whenever you talk about how "adam sandler really only ever made one great movie". Congratulations, "Punch Drunk Love", you have a baby brother. But in all seriousness, I loved this. I loved everyone in it, loved the story and loved the increasingly fades to black. I demand Oscars for everyone.