This film has much to recommend. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria and partly based on her own – as well as her mother’s – experience after her father’s death, the movie is real, has depth, and is often very funny. It is an “up-close and personal” movie about grief and loss.
Marnie Minervini’s (Susan Sarandon) dearly beloved husband, Joe, has passed away about two years prior to when the film begins. She hasn’t fully grieved his death, and, as a maladaptive way of coping, she is excessively involved in her daughter Lori’s (Rose Byrne) life – and even in the lives of near strangers – to avoid fully facing her own pain.
Lori has not only lost her father, but also recently broke up with her boyfriend. She is depressed and has socially withdrawn and isolated herself from her friends. She can’t handle her mother’s excessive dependence on her. Lori’s depression has stifled her creativity, and she is having trouble completing the script for her TV pilot.
Marnie is still beautiful and two men are very interested in her, one of them ex-cop ‘Zipper’ (J.K. Simmons). Marnie, however, is now terrified of intimacy and closeness, and is unable to move on due to her incomplete bereavement.
Sarandon excels, capturing Marnie’s pain and her struggle to become whole again. Byrne and Simmons have much smaller roles, but they are terrific too.
If I was a meddler, I’d tell you to SEE IT!