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REVIEW: ‘The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)’

“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” focuses on the “sins of the father” trope as Harold Meyerowitz’s (Dustin Hoffman) adult children have bottled up emotions, realizing they won’t live up to their father’s expectations, forever living in his shadow.

Danny (Adam Sandler) and Jean Meyerowitz (Elizabeth Marvel) are unemployed and live in New York with their father, a forgotten artist whose emotional neglect damaged his children. Harold wants to embrace his children’s artistic abilities, but hinders them as he wants to be the sole established artistic person in the family. Harold has trouble with keeping people close to him as he is in his fourth marriage with Maureen (Emma Thompson), an alcoholic who wants to control Harold’s life.

When Harold enters a coma, his youngest son Matthew (Ben Stiller), Danny and Jean’s half-brother, visits from across the country and reconnects with the family. Despite distancing himself from his father’s emotionally abusive ways, metaphorically and literally, Matthew remains his father’s favorite child.

The Meyerowitz family is akin to the Bluth family from the TV series “Arrested Development” in the sense of high dysfunction among an adult family.

The dynamic between Hoffman and Stiller played similar to their collaboration in the 2004 comedy “Meet the Fockers,” where they also played father and son.

Scenes with all three Meyerowitz children prove to be the strongest as the three characters were able to grow without Harold holding them back. Some of these scenes featured the physical comedy common in films featuring Sandler, but the scenes proved to be appropriate and comedic.

Sandler’s performance was a surprise as he was a mature version of the goofball he’s been known to play. Though it was not an Oscar-worthy performance, Sandler’s performance in “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” is his best to date. Sandler has a chance to enhance his reputation if he maintains his acting in this film.

A Netflix original film starring Adam Sandler sounds like it would be terrible, but it is one of the best original films the streaming service has to offer.

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