A trailer has landed for “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” writer-director Lorene Scafaria’s latest offering, “The Meddler.” The title refers to the film’s central character, Marnie Minervini, a well-meaning woman who can’t quite get the hang of respecting personal boundaries, or even acknowledging their existence.
Marnie (Susan Sarandon) is full of love for her daugher Lori (Rose Byrne) — the problem is that Marnie is unable to channel that love in healthy ways. The recent widow overwhelms her only child, a screenwriter, with incessant phone calls, uninvited visits and unsolicited advice.
“I think we should get you a hobby,” a frustrated Lori proposes.
A budding romance with a new fellow (J.K. Simmons) encourages Marnie to look inward. She finally begins to ask herself why she’s so invested in other people, even when that comes at the expense of taking care of herself.
“The main character is based on my mother and the set-up of the story is essentially what happened after my dad died,” Scafaria shared with Women and Hollywood. “My mom moved to LA and she and I had a rough go of it at first, grieving in different ways, but the script branches off into fantasy. It’s a bit of my own wish fulfillment for my mother. But I tried to stay true to who she is and was, as well as who I was to her at the time.”
The “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” screenwriter explained, “I found that the more specific I got with her character, the more it seemed to resonate with other people and remind them of their own mothers, in one way or another. Mostly I wanted to pay respect to someone who dedicated her life to her husband and daughter but deserves to be the star of her own story.”
“The Meddler” premiered at TIFF last September to positive reviews. The comedy opens April 22. Check out the trailer, which includes Marnie’s fertility tips (“have him tip you upside down!”) and her first attempt at taking a selfie, below.