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Film / The Meyerowitz Stories

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The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is a 2017 film by Noah Baumbach starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.

It narrates the story of a big New York dysfunctional family, the titular Meyerowitzes.


Tropes

  • Ambiguously Gay: Jean casually remarks she would make a pass at Harold's female nurse, but says she was just kidding after seeing her brothers' shocked reactions. That being said, there's no mention of any boyfriend or husband in her life.
  • Arc Words: "You should see the other dog."
  • As Himself: Sigourney Weaver who is credited by her real-life name. Harold later mentions several times that they met and greeted each other.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Harold is left convalescent after his subdural hematoma and coma and loses Danny's respect. On the upside, Danny does quietly forgive Harold for his poor parenting and the bond between the Meyerowitz siblings has grown much stronger.
  • The Cameo: Adam Driver as Randy, one of Matthew's clients.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Danny and Jean. Both do not always understand what's going on unlike their more down-to-earth half-sibling.
  • Cool Old Guy: L.J. Shapiro, an abstract artist and one of Harold's contemporaries who adores the Meyerowitz family.
  • Cool Shades: Harold in various scenes pretends that they belonged to both of his sons. The brothers struggle for them near the end. Danny ends up with them.
  • Dysfunctional Family
  • Dysfunction Junction: Everyone in the family is dysfunctional in some ways.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Harold is a devoted artist but a much less devoted father, alternately ignoring or manipulating his children even when they're adults.
    • Danny loves his family but is insecure and in a state of perpetual arrested development.
    • Matthew desperately craves his father's validation for his non-artistic career.
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    • Jean is easily pushed around by her family and rarely raises her concerns.
  • Humans Are Flawed: All the family members have some sort of Fatal Flaw.
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: Subverted as Harold in the last part is shown several weeks after he came to himself.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Harold Meyerowitz. He never praised his one successful son in their conversations for not following what his expectations. Instead he praised him to his older son. Both sons feel despised.
  • Le Film Artistique: Those made by Eliza. Her relations praise them, though.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Jean, the least confrontational of the Meyerowitz family and who still helps out her father despite his years of neglect.
    • Eliza is nothing but sweet to everyone in her family and is genuinely heartbroken when she thinks Harold is about to die.
    • Pam, Harold's incredibly patient nurse who the Meyerowitzes have only good things to say about.
  • Onscreen Chapter Titles
  • The Quiet One: Of the three adult Meyerowitz children, Jean has the least amount of dialogue and focus, though her segment shines a light on her inner struggles and trauma.
  • Parents as People: Danny loves his daughter and is also trying to get to be with his father more as he didn't get to see him much growing up.
    • Harold probably does seem to love his sons despite how he hoped that his sons would have taken their artistic talents into careers.
  • Rape as Drama: A non-contact sexual assault is mentioned when Jean recounts that Harold's friend masturbated in front of her when she was a child. She remains deeply traumatized by the experience.
  • Serial Spouse: Harold Meyerowitz was married four times, although he says that he actually married three times because the first marriage was annulled.
  • Shout-Out: Near the end, Matthew is wearing a blue suit and tie similar to Adam Sandler's in Punch-Drunk Love.
  • Sibling Rivalry: A fair share of this. Danny envies Matthew because of his career. Matthew is not happy either because his father never praises him.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: invoked So that it is not immediately clear whether something is true art or not. It is one of the most significant questions in this film as Harold Meyerowitz was formerly a somewhat renowned artist but now people doubt whether his work is actually worth anything.
  • Wimp Fight: Neither of the two Meyerowitz brothers are adept at hand-to-hand combat.

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