Friday, June 3, 2016

The Meddler (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“The Meddler” Is Sarandon at Her Best
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Back when Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were still a couple, I used to bump into them at the Starbucks in New Canaan, CT. She was always friendly, nodding a hello. But she didn’t “meddle” with other coffee drinkers, all the conversations going on in undisturbed huddles, while she and Robbins continued their own private exchange.

But that’s no longer the case. At least, not on the big screen.

Susan Sarandon stars in “The Meddler,” a title that pretty much describes the plot of the movie. Here she plays a mother, recently widowed, who moves to the West Coast to be close to her screenwriter daughter. Not that her daughter invites this proximity.

With the best of intentions, Marnie Minervini (Sarandon) begins to invade the privacy of her daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne). Dropping in unannounced. Calling all the time. Being overly helpful.

Too much, her daughter complains.

Fortunately, Marnie soon meets other people who value her assistance, and life smooths out.

Yes, I know many mothers and daughters are close, talk every day on the phone, adore each other’s company. But not always.

My brother-in-law once told me I gave him great advice at his wedding to my sister: “Live as far away from the family as you can.”

But, as “The Meddler” shows, sometimes they follow you, unable to let go.

And as this movie -- playing at Tropic Cinema -- proves, it’s not always bad.

“The Meddler” is one of Susan Sarandon’s best performance. She proves it’s possible to transition from being a young Hollywood actress (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Bull Durham,” “Thelma & Louise”) to playing an older woman with impunity.

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