Susan Sarandon is a woman on a mission in Lorene Scafaria’s charming “The Meddler,” and that mission is to fix lives; specifically that of her daughter Lori (Rose Byrne), and more generally of just about everyone who crosses her path. In the upcoming feature from the “Seeking a Friend For the End of the World” filmmaker, Sarandon plays Marnie Minervini, a recent California transplant who has upended her own life to move closer to her daughter, who is dealing with her own big-time issues.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it served as a wonderful refresher during an often-heavy festival slate. Marnie may be a meddler, but her heart is very much in the right place. As she attempts to perk up Lori by way of bagels and relationship advice, her meddling tactics begin to seep into other relationships in her life, from the nice guy at the Apple Store to Lori’s own friends, all of whom are much more receptive to Marnie’s charms. Also charmed by Marnie? J.K. Simmons, who plays a smooth-talking love interest who just might have his own unexpected impact on Marnie’s occasionally hum-drum life.
The film’s official synopsis reads: “With a new iPhone, an apartment near the Grove, and a comfortable bank account left to her by her beloved late husband, Marnie Minervini has happily relocated from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori, 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.”
Sony Pictures Classics will release “The Meddler” on April 22.