Nancy Meyers: An Appreciation

Nancy Meyers is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Her newest movie “It’s Complicated” starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin is due for release tomorrow in the UK, therefore I decided to make a blog celebrating what Nancy has done so far in the movies . . . mainly for women as that is the target audience of her movies. Making movies that other people probably wouldn’t with older actors in love stories (Somethings Gotta Give) and breaking the typical Hollywood mould, which I think is just brilliant. She is definitely one of Hollywood’s most powerful women.

She’s directed “It’s Complicated” (2009), “The Holiday” (2006), “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003), “What Women Want” (2000) and “The Parent Trap” (1998).

She’s written “It’s Complicted” (2009), “The Holiday” (2006), “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003), “The Parent Trap” (1998), “Father of the Bride Park II” (1995), “I Love Trouble” (1994), “Once Upon a Crime” (1992), “Father of the Bride” (1991), “Baby Boom” (1987) and “Private Benjamin” (1980).

She has also produced most of the movies she has written and directed.

The genre in which Nancy Meyers films really focus on is the romantic comedy genre, sometimes venturing into stories which you do not often see on the big screen. This being older people finding romance instead of 20/30 something year olds as in the rest of the rom-com movies out there. Helping to give people hope that you still have more chances for love when you are past a certain age?

What Women Want (2000)

Is this every man’s dream or every woman’s dream? Maybe a bit of both, women having a man who just knows exactly what she wants . . . and for the man to know exactly what a woman wants. Mel Gibson takes on the role of Nick a man who after an incident with a hairdryer and falling in the bath giving himself an electric shock can suddenly hear every woman’s thoughts. Surely this means that the world is now at his feet. Can a man who can hear woman’s thoughts really use this as an advantage then? I think if this movie had a male writer/director it would have gone in a completely different way. Being able to hear women makes him a better man in the long run? I thought so, while this change may not have been forever it was still clear at the end of the movie.

Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

After dating a younger woman and suffering from a heart attack Harry ends up falling in love with Erica the mother of the woman he was dating. This had to be a risky movie to make even with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton as the couple, as hollywood just didn’t seem to do couples getting together over a certain age . . . or at least both the man and the woman being over a certain age. Age gap relationships have been done. The start of the movie with Harry being with Erica’s daughter is what we are more used to seeing from Hollywood. Was Jack Nicholson just playing himself in this movie? That is something which has been discussed a bit about this movie, but I still think he’s just brilliant. Jack and Diane really do have great chemistry and have some lines which were considered quite taboo like the menopause being birth control scene.

The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday sees two very different woman swap houses over the festive period, one moving to a very small village in England and the other moving to LA. This movie really does focus on how the two women are coping when trying to get away from the men in their lives. Trying to get over them, and move on . . . which eventually they both do but it takes a lot of work. It was very nice to see a movie with women changing their lives around for the better and doing so without men . . . for a little while that is.

It’s Complicated (2009)

A divorced couple begin having an affair? I cannot really comment very much on this movie as have not seen it yet . . . that will change in the next few days.

In this appreciation of Nancy Meyers I decided to really focus on the four movies she directed and wrote the screenplay for. Lets hope that we see more of this type of thing from Nancy Meyers for years to come. In her movies she really has had some of my favorite actors/actresses . . . Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. The brilliant thing from a woman’s point of view on Nancy’s movies really have to be the female support she has around the main actress and you hope to have friends like that (unless you already have them and can compare them to friends you have).

As one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, I really do believe Nancy Meyers has to keep using this to get movies out there with strong female characters and casts (which I think she has managed so far). I cannot believe it actually took me this long to finish this blog as I had a draft saved from 20th November . . . which I started way back in October ?!?!

What are your opinions on Nancy Meyers?

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