Do you ever have those days in your life when you feel the need to cry for no real reason as such? No? OK, It’s just me then! So, I was having one such day after being debilitated by a spider bite and having not much drive to do anything but veg in front on the TV. Someone recommended watching the Zoo Keeper’s Wife – apparently its a good trigger for making a person cry. Sadly, it wasn’t available so I got a movie called the Meddler instead. From the blurb (and the cover) it looked like a fairly run of the mill chick flick which wouldn’t require too much mental strength but like never judge a DVD by its cover.
Despite the initial impression that the Meddler would be light and fluffy (which it was in many ways) it turned out to have a little bit more depth than I expected and a lot that I could relate to with going-ons/interactions in my own sad little life (remember I was trying to cry!). The story centres of Marnie, played by Susan Sarandon, who in the aftermath of her beloved husband’s death finds herself at a bit of loose end. With no real direction or purpose in life she relocates from New Jersey to LA to be closer to her daughter, Lori, a successful (but still single) career woman. As expected, the constant questions, invasion of privacy and tonnes of unsolicited advice on how to find a man, force Lori to establish certain boundaries with her mother (eventually she is forced to relocate to get away from her!). Marnie, however, being an eternal optimist, is fairly thick-skinned and takes this rejection from her daughter on the chin and finds other avenues (read: adopts some new ‘children’) for her energies.
Having inherited lots of money and being a friendly sort of lady, Marnie doesn’t struggle to attract the attentions of a few weird and wonderful ‘black sheep’ types (who no doubt were rejected by their own mothers). With so much time on her hands, she gets to work organising (read: footing the bill) for a big fat lesbian wedding and playing chauffeur (and nattering the ear off) a young guy who works at the Apple iStore. Thankfully, but somewhat unrealistically, the strangers that Marnie chooses to help are appreciative of her efforts and not solely out to rinse and generally take advantage of her in her vulnerable, lonely, recently widowed state.
It’s a good movie and beyond the LOLs and romantic subplots, it’s actually a story about a lady trying to make the way in the world without the love of her life who has clearly been the focus for so long. I think it’s a story that lots of people can identify with and one which is likely to become part of many of our life stories at some point in time.
As I touched upon, Marnie’s story is a little idealistic in many ways. Firstly, as annoying as Marnie is to her daughter, she is truly a well-meaning ‘meddler’ and her ‘adopted’ kids are also decent enough not to take too much advantage of that. Sadly, this is the reality for real-life ‘meddler’ types. Most get taken advantage of by pragmatic entitled individuals who are too lazy to sort themselves out and feel that the world is to blame for all their problems. Secondly, while many ‘meddlers’ mean well there are also another breed – one which innocent, young people need to be wary off. These are sad, old people that never amounted to much in their own lives (eg 80 something angry ‘poets’ and the like) therefore are not simply trying to live vicariously through you but are jealous of your happiness and intent on ‘meddling’ in a way that could potentially destroy you. Keep your eyes open and your wits about you with these ones.
So Rinsers, have you seen The Meddler? What did you think? Have you ever experienced a ‘Meddler’ in real life? Were they off the well-meaning variety or just a sad, judgmental old person who has become bitter and twisted because they have nothing to show for millions of years on the planet and are now at a point in their lives where they can’t even get laid? And finally, do you think that real life Marnie’s leave themselves open for manipulation by the lazy, entitled millenial folk of today? Share your thoughts in the comments below.