Tag: narcissism


The Meyerowitz Stories

October 23rd, 2017 — 7:05am

*****

The Meyerowitz Stories

As we eased ourselves into this movie and we meet Harold (Dustin Hoffman), the not quite successful New York sculptor in his senior years, we could not help but remind ourselves how we and this wonderful actor have come a long way since he played the young man who was so enamored by the older Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. This time, Hoffman is playing a very self-centered man who has had four marriages and three wives (he married one of them twice), as well as three children.

Screenwriter and director, Noah Baumbach provides a magnificent insight into the feelings of these three grown children and how their inner emotional life has been impacted by their father who clearly shows how he cares more about his narcissistic needs than the feelings of his children. Adam Sandler turns in what we believe could be an award winning performance as Danny, newly divorced, who despite how he suffered growing up by the lack of love and recognition by his father, appears to have raised an accomplished daughter (Grace Van Patten) who is entering into a film study program at Bard College (although her film work is interestingly bizarre). An almost equally fine performance was given by Ben Stiller who plays the successful son Matthew who lives on the other coast in Los Angeles as a financial manager to the stars but appears to be also damaged by his early relationship with his father. We see that he also hasn’t achieved a good marriage but is trying to be a good father to his five-year-old son. The interaction between the two grown sons is riveting and range from fierce physical fighting to showing insight into each other’s feelings.

The supporting cast of this movie is quite strong with several well-known and recognized actors. This includes Emma Thompson as Harold’s alcoholic current wife, Elizabeth Marvel as Harold’s third grown child, Candice Bergen as Matthew’s mother and one of Harold’s ex-wives, and Judd Hirsch, a friend and a more successful artist.

If this movie achieves the recognition we believe it deserves, it will not only be because of this great ensemble of actors, but it will be due to the talent of director/writer Noah Baumbach who also was involved in writing some of the very appropriate music heard in the background of this film. We certainly put this movie on the do-not-miss list. (2017)

 

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

In the Company of Men

September 6th, 2010 — 7:58am

In the Company of Men* * *
In the Company of Men
– nf – Early in the movie the premise of the story line is made clear. Two Yuppie businessmen away on a project in a branch office are discussing their relationships with women. They tell each other how badly they have been treated by them and how downtrodden they feel. This leads one of them to come up with a plan, which he convinces the other fellow to join in with him. They will find an unsuspecting, susceptible young woman during the six weeks that are away. They will each wine, dine and romance her simultaneously and then both will dump her and leave town. As one of them puts it, in the future no matter how badly they are treated by girlfriends, their wives or even their bosses, they will look back and know that nobody treated them as badly as they were going to treat this women. Nice guys? Now what does this movie show us? What insight into the human mind or into the mind of some subtype of men can we glean? Well, they carry out the plan albeit with some complications. When she realizes what was done to her, the young woman says to one of the men, “Why did you do this?” He answers, “Because I could?” Does that line sound familiar? Although the line became famous a few years after this movie was made Bill Clinton is the person who immortalized those words in response to a question from Dan Rather in a 60 Minute TV interview as to why he had his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton replied,

“I think I did something for the worst possible reason-just because I could. I think that’s the most, just about the most morally indefensible reason that anybody could have for doing anything. When you do something just because you could… I’ve thought about it a lot. And there are lots of more sophisticated explanations, more complicated psychological explanations. But none of them are an excuse.”

Those psychological reasons may vary from person to person and there were two male characters in the movie and of course Clinton is a character himself. In some there is a core of self-centeredness or narcissism, some of which may make you a good leader or a boss but too much of it will be a disaster. Then in some individuals there is a great insecurity, which can include jealousy and aggression. We saw a mixture of these in our characters in the movie. Director Neil LaBute made the six week time span move quickly and actors Aaron Eckhart and Matt Malloy were excellent. Although the performance of Stacy Edwards was also top notch, there was controversy in some circles who thought that a real deaf actress should have played the part. We should have mentioned that the character of the susceptible attractive young women who was to be dumped had lost her hearing at age 8 and had a speech impairment. Some may find this movie very thought provoking. Hopefully it won’t be too close to home. (1997)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

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