Michael Bergeron
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The Meddler

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Do you know someone that sticks his or her nose in everybody’s business? It can be a problem. Then again if the person is a lady whose husband died a year previously and she has a lot of money and wants to spend it like a forlorn guardian angel maybe it’s not such a bad deal.

The Meddler sounds like the title of an arch comic book villain yet as performed by Susan Sarandon it’s like a course in brilliant acting succinctly performed by a master of her craft. Director Lorene Scafaria (Seeking A Friend for the End of the World) avoids cliché in what in another director’s hands would be a movie full of stereotypes.

Sarandon moves to LA to be near her daughter (Rose Byrne as a stressed out television producer/writer) and at first seems to wreck havoc with everyone she meets. But once you get on her vibe good things start to happen. Sarandon soon has an unpaid career as a fairy godmother to all her daughter’s friends, and even finds romance in an unlikely affair.

There are similarities to last year’s Blythe Danner flick I’ll See You in My Dreams. Substitute J.K. Simmons for Sam Elliot and swap that film’s bogus marijuana scene with one that makes sense.

You’ll want to do a couple of good deeds after seeing this film. The Meddler opens this weekend exclusively at the Landmark River Oaks and the Cinemark Market Street 5 in The Woodlands.

— Michael Bergeron