It was a family affair at Wednesday night’s screening of “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” where director Noah Baumbach and co-stars Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, and Grace Van Patten gathered at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.
At its core, “The Meyerowitz Stories” captures dysfunctional family dynamics.
“Most people have that,” Sandler said. “Everyone’s got their ups and downs, some are worse than others.” Hoffman added, “I’ve never met anyone who said they came from a functional family.”
Van Patten also touched on the film’s universal nature. “Even if it’s not specifically the same dysfunction you have in your family, every family has dysfunction and it’s something that you can take little parts of,” she said.
Of her own role as Sandler’s character’s daughter, Van Patten added, “What is so cool about Eliza is she sees her family’s dysfunction and doesn’t neglect it. She sees it and grows from it and falls into it, which I really liked about her.”
Sandler steps into one of the more serious roles in his career as the oldest son of Hoffman’s character. “I read it, and I knew that’s what it was,” he said. “It was pretty easy. It was all Noah’s script and being around the man and Ben [Stiller]. We all did it together.”
Hoffman said he had no doubts Sandler would capture a heartfelt performance. “I knew he was an actor before he knew he was an actor,” Hoffman said.
Van Patten recalled working with legends like Hoffman, Sandler, and Stiller, who also stars in the movie. “It was insane and so inspiring,” she said. “Being able to observe what they do best was amazing.”
Just watching the three actors perform was the most helpful learning experience Van Patten said, adding, “For people who could do what they do in their sleep, they were still so passionate and hardworking and comfortable there and present.”
“In this stream of great experiences, probably none was better than Cannes and the incredible reaction of the legendary Dustin Hoffman,” he shared.
“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” will premiere in select theaters and on Netflix Oct. 13. The film also stars Emma Thompson, Adam Driver, Candice Bergen, Judd Hirsch, and Rebecca Miller.
(Pictured: Noah Baumbach, Adam Sandler, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and Dustin Hoffman)