The Meddler (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

Susan Sarandon is magnificent in the role of a loving mother, but also as a widow trying to find herself in life after losing her husband. May you think Marnie as a meddlesome and constricting mother or you see her as a woman that hides her pain through optimism, Lorene Scafaria’s “The Meddler” is delightfully funny very entertaining.  And a film that I recommend!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: The Meddler


DURATION: 103 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 2:39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, English – Audio Description Track, French, Portuguese, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital,  Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese (Traditional), French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics

RATED: PG-13 (Brief Drug Content)

AVAILABLE ON: September 6, 2016

Directed by Lorene Scafaria

Written by Lorene Scafaria

Produced by Paul Green, Joy Gorman Wettels

Co-Producer: Fiona Walsh Heinz

Executive Produced by Steve Golin, Shea Kammer, Susan Sarandon

Associate Producer: Chadwick Prichard

Music by Jonathan Sadoff

Cinematography by Brett Pawlak

Edited by Kayla Emter

Casting by Nicole Abellera, Jeanne McCarthy, Jeff Olan

Production Design by Chris L. Spellman

Set Decoration by Karuna Karmarkar

Costume Design by Annie Bloom


Susan Sarandon as Marnie

Rose Byrne as Lori

J.K. Simmons as Zipper

Jerrod Carmichael as Freddy/Fredo

Cecily Strong as Jillian

Lucy Punch as Emily

Michael McKean as Mark

Jason Ritter as Jacob

Sarah Baker as Elaine

Casey Wilson as Trish

Amy Landecker as Diane

Billy Magnussen as Ben

Megalyn Echikunwoke as Elise

With a new iPhone, an apartment near the Grove, and a comfortable bank account left to her by her beloved late husband, Marnie Minervini (Susan Sarandon) has happily relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori (Rose Byrne), a successful but still single screenwriter, and smother her with motherly love. But when the dozens of texts, unexpected visits, and conversations dominated by unsolicited advice force Lori to draw strict personal boundaries, Marnie finds ways to channel her eternal optimism and forceful generosity to change the lives of others – as well as her own – and find a new purpose in life.

Filmmaker Lorene Scafaria (“Seeking a Friend For the End of the World”, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) returns with “The Meddler”, which she wrote and directed and is based on her experiences with her mother.

The film stars Susan Sarandon (“Thelma & Louise”, “Dead Man Walking”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), Rose Byrne (“Neighbors”, “X-Men: First Class”, “28 Weeks Later”), J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”, “Spider-Man”, “The Closer”), Jerrod Carmichael (“Neighbors”, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”, “The Carmichael Show”), Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”, “The Boss”, “Ghostbusters”), Lucy Punch (“Bad Teacher”, “Into the Woods”, “Dinner for Schmucks”), Michael McKean (“Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, “This is Spinal Tap”, “Whatever Works”) and Jason Ritter (“Freddy vs. Jason”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “The Event”).

And now the film will be released on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.

“The Meddler” revolves around a widow from New Jersey named Marnie Minervini (portrayed by Susan Sarandon) who has relocated to Los Angeles after the death of her husband.

Unfortunately, her daughter Lori (portrayed by Rose Byrne) has also moved to Los Angeles earlier to pursue her career but to keep distance away from her mother, because Marnie tends to like to interfere and get involved with Lori’s business.

Always texting her daughter, always wanting to know what Lori is doing and even going so far to meeting with Lori’s therapist to know what her daughter is up to and thinking.  Even going to Lori’s friend’s baby shower, when she wasn’t invited.

But when Lori has to go to New York for her job and to get fresh air away from her ex, Jacob (portrayed by Jason Ritter), Lori starts to get involved with other people’s lives, wanting to be helpful and give motherly advice.

From offering to pay and plan Lori’s friend Jillian’s (portrayed by Cecilia Strong) wedding to helping out Apple Store Genius employee Freddy (portrayed by Jerrod Carmichael) by listening to his problems and driving him home from work.  Or by visiting an elderly woman in the hospital and talking to her daily.

But for Marnie, keeping herself busy and active is due to her wanting to not think about her deceased husband.

But when Marnie meets ex-cop, Zipper (portrayed by J.K. Rowling), will Marnie finds herself in an unexpected romance?  Will she be able to build a stronger relationship with her daughter?  And will she be able to move on with life?


“The Meddler” is presented in 2:39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen and English 5.1 Dolby Digital. The film is also presented in English – Audio Description Track, French, Portuguese and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.

It’s important to note that if you want the best picture quality for “The Meddler”, you will definitely want the Blu-ray version.  Otherwise, picture and audio quality is good as it can get on DVD.  Skin tones are natural, no major artifacts.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (traditional), French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai.


“The Meddler” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with director Lorene Scafaria and actress Susan Sarandon.
  • Gag Reel – (4:07) Gag reel for “The Meddler”.
  • The Real Marnie – (12:08) Filmmaker Lorene Scafaria and her mother Gail Scafaria and how Gail is the real Marnie and the differences from real life and the film.
  • The Making of “The Meddler” – (16:02)  Behind-the-scenes making of “The Meddler” and making a film based on the personal life of writer/director Lorene Scafaria and her mother Gail.  Interviews with the cast and crew.

When it comes to mother and daughter films, Susan Sarandon is an actress who is best known for films such as “Stepmother” and “Little Women”, but while those two films were more dramatic, this time around, Sarandon takes on the role of a widow, who has not fully grieved after the death of her husband and is now trying to focus on staying optimistic for her daughter and everyone else around her.

A delightful and charming film, “The Meddler” shows life of a widow named Marnie, doing what she can to be busy and trying to stay optimistic by becoming closer with her daughter, her daughter’s friends and an Apple Store Genius employee that she purchased an iPad from.

And as her daughter Lori finds her mom’s love to be a bit too constricting and meddlesome.

At first, one can feel that Marnie wanting to be part of Lori’s life a bit too much and over-the-top, the fact is that some parents are like that.  Texting too much, always wanting to spend time with their children.

But while Lori looks at her mom as meddlesome, when Marnie starts helping out other people, others look at Marnie as the ultimate mom.

But while the cover or promotional poster of the film may make you think the film is entirely about a mother and daughter film, “The Meddler” is a film about a mother and widow trying to find herself after the death of her husband.   And the conflict that Marnie feels, if she’s ready to be in another relationship or should she just continue to keep herself busy and focus all that energy on her daughter and others.

As for the DVD, I do recommend the Blu-ray version if you are concerned of picture and audio quality.  And there are a good number of special features included.

So, while “The Meddler” is seen as a mother and daughter film, I look at it as a more of a film about self-discovery.

Susan Sarandon is magnificent in the role of a loving mother, but also as a widow trying to find herself in life after losing her husband. Rose Byrne also did a wonderful job of portraying the role of Lori and playing a role that can go from anger to emotional to happiness very quickly.

May you think Marnie as a meddlesome and constricting mother or you see her as a woman that hides her pain through optimism, Lorene Scafaria’s “The Meddler” is delightfully funny very entertaining.  And a film that I recommend!