An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away.
The film opens with Marnie, newly transplanted to Los Angeles in the wake of her husband’s death, marveling via voiceover at all the City of Angels has to offer. The light! The space! The Grove! (For the uninitiated, that’s an outdoor mall that Marnie, not inaccurately, compares to Disneyland’s Main Street.)
When she’s not actually with daughter Lori, Marnie’s calling to give live updates of her comings, goings and everything in-between. “Did I tell you about this new Beyonce song?” she asks at one point, proceeding to hold the phone up to the car radio so Lori can hear.
Marnie’s other hobbies include trying to recruit dates for her daughter, who recently has been dumped by her actor boyfriend (Jason Ritter), and doling out heaps of unsolicited advice (and not just to Lori — one scene finds her cheerfully dispensing reproductive tips to women at a baby shower).
When Lori, a screenwriter, leaves for a shoot in New York, she delivers the blow every over-involved parent dreads: “I think it’s time we set some boundaries.” So Marnie takes her meddling skills elsewhere, putting them to more transparently altruistic use: she helps a young Apple Store employee (Jerrod Carmichael) study for his exams, fills an old woman’s hospital room with gifts and plans a big fat lesbian wedding for one of Lori’s friends (Cecily Strong). Marnie also strikes up a romance with a sweet retired cop (J.K. Simmons), whom she meets cute when she inadvertently wanders onto a movie set.
Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
Starring: Rose Byrne, Billy Magnussen, Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons, Lucy Punch, Cecily Strong, Amy Landecker, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Laura San Giacomo, Jason Ritter, Sarah Baker, Casey Wilson
Screenplay by: Lorene Scafaria
Production Design by: Chris L. Spellman
Cinematography by: Brett Pawlak
Film Editing by: Kayla Emter
Costume Design by: Annie Bloom
Set Decoration by: Karuna Karmarkar
Music by: Jonathan Sadoff
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief drug content.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: April 22, 2016