The Meddler is no longer exclusively the name of a second-string Batman villain I just made up. (“Holy biscuits, Batman! The Meddler keeps logging out of my HBO GO account, so that I have to awkwardly text my parents to get the password every time I want to watch Girls!”) It also just so happens to be the title of the new film from Lorene Scafaria, director of Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Deadline reports that she’ll bring her quirky, wanderlust-y touch to The Meddler, and that she has successfully found friends for the end of the production.
Susan Sarandon stars as Marnie Minervini, an incurable optimist who packs her life up following the death of her husband and moves to Los Angeles to reunite with her daughter (Rose Byrne). Marnie won’t let a near-complete lack of big-city know-how stop her from getting back out there, making friends, finding her life’s purpose, and perhaps tangoing with love one more time. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons (a series of words that bring me immense pleasure to write in a row like that) will round out the cast.
I rather liked Seeking A Friend…, finding its vision of the apocalypse to be well-realized. The weakest aspect of the film, far and away, was the relationship between Steve Carell’s hapless insurance salesman and Keira Knightley as the free spirit who blows into his life. Part of the badness was owed to the characters’ total lack of romantic chemistry, but part of it was certainly due to the writing as well. Compounding that concern is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, for which Scafaria penned the screenplay. The blossoming romance between hip kid Michael Cera and slightly hipper kid Kat Dennings was grating, and not just because she has the nerve to badmouth The Cure. It sounds like relationship business may be central to The Meddler, though it’s difficult to imagine Susan Sarandon mistaking a shared love of a band for actual love, so how it’ll turn out is anyone’s guess.