Hoffman, Stiller and Sandler seek highbrow laughs

CANNES, France, May 21 (Reuters) - Ben Stiller once again plays Dustin Hoffman's son, this time alongside Adam Sandler in an intellectual comedy that Hoffman hopes audiences will find funny rather than just "interesting."

"The Meyerowitz Stories," which screened at Cannes on Sunday, is written and directed by Noah Baumbach, whose dialog-heavy New York movies are often compared to mid-career Woody Allen. This is no "Meet the Fockers."

About the fractured relations between Hoffman's four-times married almost-famous sculptor and his offspring, "Meyerowitz" is a long way from the knockabout comedies that Sandler and Stiller are best known for.

"I just think it's cool to hear 'Happy Gilmore' mentioned at Cannes," Stiller said after the lowbrow 1996 golfing comedy in which he co-starred with Sandler was mentioned at the festival news conference.

Hoffman, who soared to fame in "The Graduate" in 1967, said he resented people telling him they grew up with his movies, and although reluctant to play the aging Meyerowitz, was delighted to be directed by Baumbach.

See More: Jesse Eisenberg to play Marcel Marceau in French resistance tale

"We would work for him for nothing," he said, to which Emma Thompson, who plays his wife, retorted: "We did work for him for nothing!"

When a journalist prefaced her question by congratulating the filmmakers on an "interesting" film, Hoffman chipped in: "That's not a good word ... you really didn't like it!"

But the movie got plenty of laughs at the press screening and the first reviews were good.

"A Great Adam Sandler Performance Makes 'The Meyerowitz Stories' One of Noah Baumbach's Best," said IndieWire.

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it "terrifically pleasurable and entertaining – film-making qualities that look easy but aren't – and there is real charm, delicacy and warmth."

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Cannes Film Festival 2017: Day 4
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Cannes Film Festival 2017: Day 4
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: model Kendall Jenner attends the '120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: model Kendall Jenner attends the '120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Kendall Jenner attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Petra Nemcova attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Kristen Stewart attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Julia Dietze attends the 'The Square' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Elizabeth Olsen attends the 'The Square' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Tiffany Brouwer attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Arnold Schwarzenegger attends photocall for 'Wonders of the Sea 3D' during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Nikki Beach on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. PHOTOGRAPH BY Peter / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Peter / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: CJ Franco attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Fagun Ivy Thakrar attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Liliana Nova attends the '120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Sila Sahin attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Christina Pitanguy attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at PaChristina Pitanguylais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Nicole Sheridan attends The Weinstein Company pre-reception of 'Wind River' in association with Grey Goose Vodka, de Grisogono, and Hotel de Crillon during the Cannes Film Festival 2017 on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Elizabeth Olsen attends The Weinstein Company pre-reception of 'Wind River' in association with Grey Goose Vodka, de Grisogono, and Hotel de Crillon during the Cannes Film Festival 2017 on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Muse Arizona attends the'120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Aishwarya Rai attends the '120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Foc Kan/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Sara Sampaio attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Tallia Storm attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Guest attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Wotan Wilke Moehring attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Paz Vega attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Ming Xi attends the '120 Battements Par Minutes (120 Beats Per Minute)' screening during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Bella Hadid is spotted outside the Majestic hotel during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Fan Bingbing is spotted at the Majestic Hotel during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Fran�ois Henri Pinault and Salam Hayeck are spotted at the Majestic Hotel during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Ryan Bensetti is spotted at the Majestic Hotel during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Designer Iris and Simone Kuechler is spotted at the Majestic Hotel during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Julia Dietze attends the Medienboard Reception during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Grand Hotel Garden on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: XXX attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Tiffany Brouwer attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Pips Taylor attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Celeste Thorson attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Christina Estrada attends the Snowbound Movie Event celebrating the screening of 'Snowbound' at the 70th Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Petra Nemcova attends the Vanity Fair and Chopard Party celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Clint Eastwood (L) and Christina Sandera attend the Vanity Fair and HBO Dinner celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Daniela Lopez Osorio attends the Vanity Fair and Chopard Party celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Laura Bailey attends the Vanity Fair and HBO Dinner celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: (L-R) Kendall Jenner, Camila Morrone, and Daniela Lopez Osorio attend the Vanity Fair and Chopard Party celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 20: LaTonya Blige-DaCosta (L) and Mary J. Blige attend the Vanity Fair and Chopard Party celebrating the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 20, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M Benett/Dave Benett / Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20: Sila Sahin attends the German Reception during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Villa Rothschild on May 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
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A Netflix film, one of two in competition at Cannes, "Meyerowitz" will not get a full cinema release, a source of controversy at the film festival where jury head Pedro Almodovar said he did not think a film not shown on the big screen should get a Palme d'Or.

Stiller was unfazed: "He said that about 'Happy Gilmore'!"

Baumbach, who said he made "Meyerowitz" to be shown in cinemas, joked that the movie would be screened in Hoffman's living room, which, the actor said, had "a very big screen." (Editing by Richard Lough)

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