Remember serious Adam Sandler? Noah Baumbach does, and that’s clearly why the master of American — familial and otherwise — dysfunction cast the actor in his latest dramedy, the Cannes premiere and Netflix offering “The Meyerowitz Stories.” In the film, Sandler is just one of many clearly addled Meyerowitzs, including Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman.
“The Meyerowitz Stories” centers on the eponymous estranged family, which convenes in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father (Hoffman). Sounds fun, right? Turns out, it’s pure Baumbach, in the best way possible.
In our Cannes review, our David Ehrlich wrote, “Too familiar to stand out from Baumbach’s career, but too funny and textured and true to not be one of its highlights…this even-handed, mutually destructively, and inextricably Jewish-American family saga marks a major departure for Baumbach in one crucial respect: While all of his films have a cutting sense of humor, this is the first that would rather tend to its wounds than watch them bleed.”
He also singled out Sandler’s performance, which is damn fine return to “Punch-Drunk Love” and “Funny People” form, and a major diversion from all those other Netflix films the comedian has been churning out lately.
Ehrlich wrote of Sandler’s work as Danny, “Frustrated, lonely, and struggling to get over the feeling that he should just accept his brokenness, Danny is a vintage Baumbach man (like a less rigid Roger Greenberg), and Sandler’s mustached performances makes the character feel like someone you know, or someone you might be. Possibly both… [he]is exceptional in a low-key turn as a person who can’t tell the difference between the pain he has to live with and the hurt he can actually help.”
Check out the first teaser trailer for “The Meyerowitz Stories” below. Netflix will debut the film on October 13.