Friday, May 20, 2016

The Meddler

The Meddler
seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY

So let's talk about Susan Sarandon for a few minutes. Still incredibly sexy at age 69. A New York fixture; in fact, I think I might have seen her once in midtown Manhattan near 57th Street, but I wasn't completely sure. I heard recently that she's gonna play Bette Davis in a TV mini-series. That sounds exciting. Shame that she and Tim Robbins didn't work out. I always thought they made a cool couple.

I vaguely remember when Thelma & Louise came out and what a big deal it was, but I wasn't terribly interested at the time. I was not yet what you might call a discerning movie-goer. I used to watch The Witches of Eastwick when it came on cable. That might have been the first movie where I became aware of her. Sadly, I missed out on Bull Durham when it blew up, although I've seen it since, of course. By this time - late 80s, early 90s - I started noticing her name popping up in grown-up kinds of dramas and romance films. Not exactly the kind of stuff that appealed to me yet. And it would be another decade before I would see her in Rocky Horror. (Everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?)

By the time Dead Man Walking came out, I had just started working in video retail, and I was beginning to take more notice of these grown-up films. I remember reading about it in Premiere and how it was supposed to be an "important" film, so I went to see it. Wasn't bad. It held my attention. Not exactly the kind of movie I'd want to revisit again and again, though. Funny how someone will win an Oscar for an "important" movie, but rarely does it become a film they're remembered for most. I mean, when you think of Susan Sarandon, which movie comes to mind first: Dead Man Walking or Bull Durham?

I saw the trailer for The Meddler in front of Sing Street and it looked like it might be good, so I took a chance on it. Once again, I regretted seeing this without Vija and the others in our movie club. They might have appreciated this more than me, I think. Not that I hated the movie, but it didn't grab me as much as I had thought it might. Seeing it with a bigger audience may have helped. A young couple a few rows in front of me provided the only other company.

Sarandon plays a widow whose husband died about a year ago and her daughter is off in Hollywood making TV shows. Mom is itching for something to do that'll keep her from missing her husband, so she sticks to her daughter like glue and delves into the lives of strangers.

I did feel like I knew her character; in fact, she reminded me a lot of a woman in my writing group. I just didn't feel like there was a great deal of substance to this story. It felt a little thin, and at an hour and forty minutes it felt stretched out. Still, Sarandon is good in the role, and it was cool to see JK Simmons and Michael McKean as well.


  1. When I was a young teen, Susan Sarandon played a hippy who kidnapped the heroine on "Search for Tomorrow". That is my starting point for the actress and I wish there was another because it makes me feel so darned old! "The Meddler" sounds like something that might have been Made-for-TV back in the 70s and starring Maureen Stapleton. That's another offshoot of a lifetime watching stuff - you feel like you've seen it all before.

    PS: I gotta get out more!

  2. Yeah, this movie did have a bit of a TV movie aspect to it. Not that it was a bad thing by itself; it just seemed too slight for the big screen.


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