Nancy Meyers

Father of the Bride

In the 1995 sequel to the charming 1991 comedy, Father of the Bride, a crazed George Banks (Steve Martin) is thrown into a dizzy (his default state, at least going on his behavior in the previous film) when he discovers that both his wife (Diane Keaton) and his daughter (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) are pregnant at the exact same time. George, never one to roll with the punches, freaks the heck out and is only cowed when Keaton’s ever-lovely Nina kicks him out and he gets a glimpse of what his life would look like without her (and, because he’s behaved so badly, probably also without their kids, their grandkids, and their sweet son-in-law). Nina is the brains of the Banks operation, a steadying force that somehow manages to weather every storm with grace and style. George, well, isn’t like that at all. The formula for the second Father of the Bride film wasn’t entirely original — again, it was still all about George not being able to handle big life changes — but the feature wasn’t afraid to go with a slightly offbeat and surprisingly progressive plotline. George and Nina were about to become grandparents just as they were becoming actual parents again, and although George couldn’t handle most of the action, the film didn’t smack of ageism or anything of the sort — it seemed like the Banks clan was creating a new, modern family, even though it was one that happened sort of accidentally. If Father of the Bride is going to continue on, why […]

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Romantic comedy

This week sees the opening of Blended, a comedy ostensibly fashioned as a romantic(ish) outing that stars Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, who have previously made a pair of mostly charming rom-coms together over the last sixteen years (yes, it’s really been that long). Although the film is rife with classic Happy Madison humor — rhinos humping! women being kinda shrewish! Shaq in a supporting role, for zero reason! – Blended is rooted in some real world issues that should feel quite relatable to plenty of movie-goers. Both Barrymore and Sandler play single parents looking for love, despite being ill-equipped for the job. The film’s title refers to the process of blending families, as such relationships don’t just hinge on how the actual lovers feel about the situation, but how their kids feel, too. Still, there’s rhino-humping. Yet the themes of Blended echo a new trend in the world of the romantic comedy — more mature storylines for more mature talents. The traditionally youth-focused rom-com genre has been circling the drain for quite a while now (it doesn’t help that no one has really stepped in to fill the shoes left vacant by talents like Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks, Kate Hudson, and Matthew McConaughey from the height of their rom-com years), and while that might initially seem like a bad thing, maybe we really don’t need a new crop of rom-coms about ditzy twentysomethings, perhaps these more adult outings are actually better.

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Nancy Meyers

The last time we spoke of your mother’s favorite filmmaker, Nancy Meyers, she had lined up two new projects (The Intern and The Chelsea) that both sounded a bit out of the box for the director, but now it looks as if the Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday creator will return to her more traditional, Pottery Barn-infused roots.

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Writer and director Nancy Meyers has often drawn ire for her knack for purveying lifestyle over substance in her films, with works like It’s Complicated, The Holiday, and Something’s Gotta Give looking more like interior design magazines come to life than hard-hitting emotional dramas (anyone remember that subplot in It’s Complicated involving Meryl Streep’s kitchen renovation? The kitchen that was perfect to begin with?), but the woman sure knows how to make girls’ night out flicks for the older set (full disclosure: I do love The Holiday unironically). However, it looks like Meyers is looking to spice up her resume with two new projects – both with slightly different twists and surprising leading ladies. First up, Meyers is joining forces with a bonafide funny lady for a different kind of mature relationship dramedy. Tina Fey is now on board to star in Meyers’s The Intern (which the filmmaker has written and will direct), in which she will “play the founder of an e-business with a fashion focus. As her company begins to thrive, she’s told that her company is importing seniors to be interns as a community outreach effort, and she’s getting one. While her first question is whether they are seniors in high school or college, she learns to her horror that she’s getting a real senior, as in senior citizen.” That intern ends up being “an over-70 widower who is bored with retirement from a middle management career, initially seems like a fossil to his working mother boss, […]

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For an industry that is viewed reductively by much of middle America as being politically left-leaning to the point of being out-of-touch with the rest of the country, Hollywood has shown a stagnant lack of progress in terms of gender equality. Actresses’ careers are in jeopardy as soon as they hit 35, it always seems like there’s a dearth of good roles for women, and much of the business behind the camera is dominated by a boys’ club. Particularly striking are the lack of female directors.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Merry Christmas from the Fat Guys! Kevin got Neil the gift of respect for just one episode, and Neil got Kevin the gift of seeing only one movie. The Fat Guys rip through the next Christmas movies, including Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, It’s Complicated and Sherlock Holmes.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Sherlock Holmes and It’s Complicated can make the grade.

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itscomplicated-header

Alec Baldwin is randomly crying. Meryl Streep is a little bit of a slut. Steve Martin, still crazy. And writer/director Nancy Meyers is back again for another round of romcom

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Steve Martin, Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin

On paper, this looks like a nice teaming. Alec Baldwin is a great actor, and I don’t care if he’s beating his kids with aluminum trash cans. Steve Martin, well, that’s another story.

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