Kicking off its opening weekend of limited release with strong box office numbers ($15,067 screen average per Box Office Mojo), “The Meddler,” starring Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne is poised to be the perfect Mother’s Day movie as the film expands its release.

Susan Sarandon as the meddling mother

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”), “The Meddler” has that right mix of moxie, comedy, and edge.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Sarandon (the moxie part of the equation) plays Marnie Minervini, a recently widowed wife and mother who moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be closer to her screenwriting daughter, Lori (Byrne). Marnie sees lightness in everything. Ever helpful and truly interested in life and people, Marnie delights in being near her daughter. Lori, on the other hand, doesn’t share her mom’s cheery sentiments.

Advertisement

Moody over a recent breakup from successful actor Jacob (Jason Ritter) while struggling to get her television pilot written, Lori doesn’t have time to answer Marnie’s numerous calls and texts. No matter, Marnie pops over for a daily visit anyway, and even helps Lori’s nearest friends, or Apple Store clerks, or… you get the picture – Marnie excels in the art of meddling.

Based on writer/director Lorene Scafaria's life

Based on her own personal life – Scafaria’s father died and her mother, Gail, moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be nearer her daughter – presented rich material for the writer/director.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
Celebrities

Scafaria states in the film’s press notes, that Sarandon was at the top of her list to play Marnie and was thrilled when she signed onto the project (Sarandon is also an executive producer). Scafaria notes, “At first, the role was my mom, then it was Susan Sarandon, but it soon became Marnie – Susan lost herself in Marnie.”

Sarandon and supporting cast shine

And Sarandon shines by creating that right mix of cringe-worthy comedy and loving charm.

Her newfound relationships with Lori’s friends and even Lori’s therapist are wacky, hilarious, and entirely optimistic. Equally sweet is a budding friendship with a retired cop, Zipper (J.K. Simmons).

The success of Scafaria’s film lies not in the clichés of the Irish, Jewish, Italian mothers of the world, but in the humanistic portrayal of a woman of a certain age who isn’t exactly sure who she’s supposed to care for now that her husband’s passed and her daughter doesn’t really need her.

Advertisement

How does a mother, in this case, Marnie, navigate saying goodbye to a deceased husband and start a new life of her own?

In addition to Sarandon, Byrne, Simmons and Ritter, the film also includes the talented supporting cast of Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong, Lucy Punch, Casey Wilson and Michael McKean. Shot in Los Angeles, the film does well with various sunny locales, as well as puts a luminous spotlight on The Grove and Farmer’s Market.

Advertisement

Producer Joy Gorman Wettels comments this film is “… not an ‘odd couple’ movie or a fish-out-of-water story – it’s a movie about what your mother does all those hours when you don’t call her back.” If we all could be as active and happy as Marnie during those hours then the world would certainly be a more generous place. So be generous and take your mom to see “The Meddler.”

“The Meddler” is 100 minutes and is Rated PG-13.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more