After working with his muse Greta Gerwig on several projects, Noah Baumbach returns to his dysfunctional family roots with The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), creating what is basically his own The Royal Tenenbaums (and that is definitely a compliment.)
The film follows three generations of the Meyerowitz family, a creative bunch who all have their demons. The head of the clan is Harold (Dustin Hoffman), an undiscovered artist who has remarried so many times I lost count. You could say he’s the one responsible for messing up his children — Danny (Adam Sandler), Matthew (Ben Stiller) and Jean (Elizabeth Marvel). Harold has a different relationship with each of them and it’s clear that his parenting (or lack thereof) has had major consequences on their lives and careers.
Baumbach’s script races at a mile a minute, switching topics every 5 seconds and leaving no breathing room in between punchlines. It’s exhilarating trying to keep up with it all but also gives a picture of a family that seems broken beyond repair. So when the siblings (or half-siblings, as mentioned a lot) have to come together, it’s all rather endearing. Your parents or siblings or kids can be annoying sometimes, but The Meyerowitz Stories reminds us all that family is family and we just have to accept that.