Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Publicists are Killing “The Meyerowitz Stories” — Which Has a 93 on Rotten Tomatoes — By Barring Press


Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” should be one of the hot movies in the Oscar race. It has a 93 on Rotten Tomatoes. Most everyone who sees it , loves it. Dustin Hoffman, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Marvel, Emma Thompson are all wonderful in it.

Alas, it is nowhere. Yesterday Netflix held an afternoon event for the movie and barred press. No press, no attention.

Last night at the Gotham Awards I attempted to talk to Dustin Hoffman about the movie. His wife greeted me warmly. His nasty publicist barked “no press” like a dachshund that hadn’t been fed in days, and literally pushed him past me.

At the dinner, the “Meyerowitz” table was glum. Adam Sandler, who probably expected a lot of attention after the early reviews, actually chatted about the night’s desserts with a woman he didn’t know sitting at the table behind him. That’s how bad it was.

This was in stark contrast to the “Lady Bird” table, not too far away, which was full of celebration and liveliness. The irony is that “Lady Bird” is directed by Baumbach’s girlfriend and muse, Greta Gerwig. I felt bad for Baumbach. He’s made a bunch of terrific movies. This one is his most terrific. And it’s going sour.

One reason might be that Hoffman was hit with some accusations recently of sexual harassment– not rape, just making bad jokes, and acting arrogantly. But hey. he’s Dustin Hoffman, and who cares? But his publicist is clueless and rude, and self-defeating. That’s a bad  combination.

So “Meyerowitz” will suffer. Hoffman’s almost certain Best Supporting Actor nod is slipping away. He has two Oscars, so maybe he doesn’t care. But everything here has been handled the wrong way. It’s a shame.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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