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Meyerowitz Stories, The (new and selected)


Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten, Judd Hirsch, Candice Bergen, Sigourney Weaver, Adam Driver, Sakina Jaffrey

Director: Noah Baumbach

It's a pity that Sandler has made - and continues to make - so many awful farces (OK, not the earlier ones) because this 'serious comedy' shows him off as a really good actor.

The film surveys, in chapter form, the lives (and mostly frustrations and disappointments) of a dysfunctional New York Jewish family. If you've seen this kind of thing before, you'll know what to expect.

The attraction here, of course, is the all-star cast, including Sandler and Stiller in semi-dramatic roles. With lugubrious Marvel as their sibling, they're the sons (and daughter) from the various marriages of paterfamilias Harold (Hoffman), a sculptor whose works in wood leave us in little doubt as to why he has 'not received his due'.

Sandler's the best thing in the film, while Stiller's performance is rather one-note and Thompson and Hoffman (enjoyably) chew the scenery.

Naturally, the old man gets sick eventually - do hospital counsellors in America really advise the family on ' things you need to say to your father before it's too late'? - but that's not the end of a film that goes on a bit too long. Its best line comes early when Sandler's driving his daughter (the promising Van Patten) to meet the family and can't find a parking space. 'If I have to garage it,' he tells her, 'you can't go to college'.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Netflix. Technicolor.
115 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 08 Oct 2017