Noah Baumbach’s biggest critical success, The Squid and the Whale (2005), was a loosely autobiographical tale about two school-age brothers in New York contending with their arrogant, insecure father, a fading novelist; 12 years later, Baumbach delivers a loosely autobiographical tale about two grown men in New York (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller) contending with their arrogant, insecure father (Dustin Hoffman), a faded sculptor. The father kvetches at them, they kvetch at each other, and Baumbach develops a running gag in which he’ll cut one of them off in mid-kvetch to present the onscreen title of the next “story.” This gets a laugh every time, though you have to wonder about a writer-director who wishes his characters would just shut up. I thought that was my job!
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
R • 1 hour 50 min • 2017