"Daughters Need Their Mothers"

What You Need To Know:

In THE MEDDLER, a middle-aged widow, Marnie, decides the best thing to do after her husband’s death is to move to Los Angeles to be with her daughter. Lori, a successful television writer, loves her mother, but Marnie’s constant opinions and suggestions are too much. Lori urges her mother to develop a life of her own. While Lori dives into her writing career, Marnie makes herself useful by helping other people. Marnie is slow to realize Lori’s efforts to push her away are part of Lori’s own grieving process over her father’s death.

THE MEDDLER is a heartfelt story about the joys and duties of mother and daughter relationships. It demonstrates the notion every daughter internally desires to be near her mother, even if she doesn’t show it. Also, Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria tells a beautiful, relatable story about how she felt after she lost her father. Thus, THE MEDDLER has a redemptive, moral worldview, but it’s marred by a politically correct homosexual subplot involving a same-sex wedding, brief foul language and references to marijuana use. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE MEDDLER.


(C, B, PCPC, HoHo, Pa, L, V, S, A, DD, MM) Light redemptive, moral worldview extolling the everlasting love between a mother and daughter (mother gives up her life in New York and moves across country to be closer to her daughter in Los Angeles), plus mother inherits some money and gives it away to people who are struggling so mother showcases generosity towards people, who can not do anything for her (such as mother gives young boy a ride to night school and babysits for free when two parents need time for each other), mitigated by a politically correct, homosexual subplot promoting same-sex marriage and homosexuality, including a lesbian kiss, and some other pagan, immoral behavior; five obscenities and profanities (including one or two “f” words), plus implied urinating on a pregnancy test stick; light violence includes mother punches and kicks man in groin who forces a kiss on her, and daughter raises her voice at her mother when frustrated; some sexual immorality includes same-sex wedding subplot with a lesbian couple who kiss, and references to a daughter having had a one-night stand and wondering if she’s pregnant; no nudity; light alcohol displayed, guests drink at a wedding, mother drinks wine with her family, daughter and mother drink at a bar, daughter pours herself a glass of gin in hotel room; no smoking, but daughter smokes marijuana, and mother eats marijuana to hide it from police; and, strong miscellaneous immorality including not honoring one’s parents, pride, lying, and dysfunctional families.

More Detail:

In THE MEDDLER, a heartfelt, dramatic comedy, Writer and Director Lorene Scafaria, tells her personal story about her relationship with her mother after her father’s death. The movie is a beautiful combination of laugh-out-loud humor and cry your heart out scenes as Scafaria brings to life the ups and downs of a mother and daughter relationship, while touching on how different people cope after the death of a loved one. However, there are problems.

THE MEDDLER stars Susan Sarandon in the title role. After the death of her husband, Marnie realizes life is short and decides to make the most of life. She moves cross-country from New York to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Lori (Rose Byrne), deciding time with her daughter is the most important thing.

Lori, a successful television writer, is not thrilled by her mother’s move, however. She loves her mom, but suddenly she’s everywhere. Marnie walks into Lori’s apartment without knocking, nags about her poor clothing choices, asks about her ex-boyfriend way too much, and questions the outcome of her career as a writer. She even decides to talk to Lori’s therapist to try and get some information about why her daughter seems so miserable. She’s a typical mother, simply trying to help but overstepping her boundaries. What she fails to realize is Lori is miserable because she misses her deceased dad, but is grieving in a more hopeless way, as opposed to Marnie’s style of carpe diem.

Shortly after Marnie moves to L.A., Lori is asked to relocate to New York for a few months to work on her pilot. Lori suggests her mom stay in LA to watch her dogs while she focuses on her career in New York. Marnie isn’t eager to return to New York, where her husband’s family is waiting for her to make a decision about his final resting place. So, she stays in Los Angeles and decides to make use of her overflowing bank account.

Marnie dives into other people’s lives to help where she feels needed. She pays for the lesbian wedding of one of Lori’s friends, drives a young boy to night school, and begins to volunteer at a hospital. Her life becomes a busy one where many people rely on her, a feeling that soothes her aching heart from the absence of not feeling needed by her daughter.

As Lori’s show comes to a wrap, Lori invites her mother to visit her and see the set in New York. When Marnie arrives and watches her daughter’s pilot take shape, she’s surprised but touched to see that the story Lori has worked so hard to make, is the story of Marnie’s own life.

That evening Marnie stays with her daughter in her hotel room where the two joke around for the first time in months. After the pilot, Lori moves back to Los Angeles, where Marnie is eagerly waiting to spend time with her, while trying to practice the boundaries Lori has instilled. However, Marnie sees something is still bothering her daughter. Will Marnie discover what it is and be able to help?

THE MEDDLER is a heartfelt story about the precious and unique joys and (sometimes contradictory) duties in mother/daughter relationships. It demonstrates the notion every daughter internally desires to be near her mother, even when she doesn’t show it overtly. Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria also tells a beautiful, relatable story about how she felt when she lost her own father. Thus, THE MEDDLER is an insightful, emotional demonstration of the different forms of grieving that people display when a loved one dies. As such, THE MEDDLER has a redemptive, moral worldview extolling family bonds, generosity and the importance of mourning.

However, the movie’s positive worldview is marred by immoral, politically correct elements. For example, it’s revealed the daughter has had a one-night stand with a man she met. Also, the mother pays for the same-sex wedding of the daughter’s lesbian friend. Finally, THE MEDDLER contains brief foul language and a scene where the daughter smokes marijuana. Consequently, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE MEDDLER.

Of course, Christian believers know that, when a loved one dies, even if it’s particularly tragic or even if it comes too early, the dearly departed will receive eternal life in Heaven with God through Jesus Christ. Thus, even though we may grieve greatly that they have left us, there is hope that life (and joy) really and truly does triumph.