I am now home after seeing ‘The Meddler’ and I am torn. I was ready to give this a pan, but as I thought about it more, I go back a lot to what is good about it (and those goods are great) Perhaps it’s my mood: I was a bit anxious while I was watching it, and that may have coloured my opinion somewhat negatively.
It’s Sarandon’s movie, for sure. She gives a sunny, hyper performance, which is probably necessary for the role, but at times for me felt too eager, as if she is winking at the audience and saying “Hey look at me, I am doing this comedy, aren’t I great?” A lot of times, the performance calls attention to itself, and she does come on so strong that when it is time for her character to be vulnerable, the struggle doesn’t seem real, and you think, nah, she can handle this. And the character comes across as horrific – needy, fussy, annoying – as written. I never got over that, even with the infinite charm Sarandon put in there.
And she has ample support, too. Rose Byrne is great, and it is nice to see J K Simmons as a light character – nothing evil about him here. This movie has the city of Los Angeles as another character – the sunny skies, the beach, The Grove – they all add texture to the characters. I mean, it made me want to visit. But somehow, though, there was something in the movie that felt empty for me – perhaps the plot was a tad skinny? This is one of those movies I now want to see again, perhaps when I am a better mood. I wonder if how I feel about it will change. For now, though, I am still on the fence.