Directed by Lorene Scafaria
Written by Lorene Scafaria
Dedicated to my beautiful Mother.
According to my taste is movies, this is a film I should have hated. Well, okay, perhaps hate is a bit strong, but this is a romantic comedy at its core; the one genre of film I struggle with the most (let’s forget about superheroes for a while, I think we need to, at least for my sanity’s sake). But the simple premise of the film was very familiar to me.
A loving mother, Marnie, has recently lost her husband, and is coping with this with an oddly happy-go-lucky attitude. She is someone who says things like her daughter is her hobby – The Meddler is such an apt title for this film
My Mum can be a meddler. I sometimes get angry and frustrated, feeling she has interfered too much. Why? Because she had put a roll of glad-wrap away in a kitchen draw. Such a silly thing to get annoyed over! This film then really taught me to be gracious, to appreciate all the wonderful things my mother does to make life easier for her son.
In the film, it is her daughter Lori that snaps and becomes frustrated at her mother’s meddling, and it all felt so familiar. Exaggerated of course, but still familiar. From here, the story is 90% predictable and it ends how you knew it would an hour previous. But for me, that was okay. Because as far as I was concerned, I was watching my mother on screen, the nicest, most caring and giving person I will ever know. This is exactly who Marnie is, and when Lori leaves town for New York to shoot a pilot for a television show, the mother begins meddling in her daughter’s friends’ lives, an attempt to fill the void that has been left by the departure of her daughter.
Marnie eventually visits Lori in New York and finds out that the show that her daughter has written hits close to home. But the two have some fun, and during a scene in their hotel room, Marnie asks her daughter how to take a selfie. Lori’s immediate reaction is priceless. Of course, Marnie has met someone, a solid J.K. Simmons sporting a terrible moustache, a man who isn’t a cat person, or a dog person. His babies are his chickens. Seeing these two meet touched me deeply, as it is the sort of happiness that I wish for my mother, who is still single after divorcing from my father when I was around four years old.
Great acting all around, a fun soundtrack, and a fantastically bright colour palette round out this movie that I simply should not have liked. But due to the personal connection, suddenly all the faults that I find myself picking in this genre of film vanished. Yes it is predictable, but more importantly it is enjoyable. And funny. However, if I take away the personal connection, this of course is not a movie for everyone. For those who like romantic comedies however, this is an underrated gem.
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