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Noah Baumbach is known for two things: eclectic casting and a keen focus on the human condition. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is the latest film to prove both of those points, particularly in the case of the latter with Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler cast as brothers in the film's titular family. Strangely enough, the story of how those two comic heavyweights shared their first major film together almost sounds like something that would come out of one of Baumbach's films. The director explained how this ended up happening as follows:
I always loved [Sandler] in the crazier comedies and when he's done stuff like Punch-Drunk Love. So I just saw that as what a great thing. And this was the time when I had something that felt right. And it was something, because Ben and I had worked together. I said something about them playing brothers and Ben said that's funny because Adam and him had just reconnected and talked about wanting to do something together. And so, we all had lunch and the only thing that really came out of the lunch was that they should have a physical fight at some point, but that was enough for me to go home and start writing.
Apparently, if you ever wondered what it would take to get Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller in a film together, the answer was as simple as having the right director issue the right lunch invite. Now an interesting note about this occurrence is the fact that it's not the first time Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller have been in the same movie, as Stiller had uncredited roles in both Happy Gilmore and Pauly Shore Is Dead, which both also happened to star Sandler. But The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is the first time the two men have co-starred in major roles together. From the reactions we've heard about the film so far, it's some of the finest work for both men, as Noah Baumbach's trademark humanity and humor serve their respective talents exceedingly well.
When you really think about it, Baumbach recalling to Uproxx how Sandler and Stiller came together is kind of like the comedy world's version of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone finally teaming up together in The Escape Plan back in 2013. It's a paring everyone dreamed of, finally coming true after a long while. That said, we'd like to think that Noah Baumbach bringing the two friends and contemporaries of the 90s comedy scene together for The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) could mean a more long-term partnership.
If anything, the reaction that the world has been having to The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) might be proof that maybe the three collaborators should work together on another project, no matter the genre. It's sort of amazing, too, that an entire movie simply came together after one lunch meeting in which Noah Baumbach envisioned a brawl between the two heavyweight actors, but it's an idea that stuck in the director and writer's head, and we already know we are getting it in the upcoming flick.
For now, you can enjoy Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller pawing at each other to your hearts content. Or just head over to Netflix to catch Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, also starring Dustin Hoffman, as it's currently streaming. To take a look at what else is hitting Netflix this year, here's the full schedule for the streaming service.