5 Best Nancy Meyers Movies
Nancy Meyers makes great feel-good films — it has always been her strong suit. There’s a reason she’s so ubiquitous even though she’s directed precious few films. I would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a feel-good film. For sick days or sad days. A warm Meyers film is truly invaluable. Meyers has penned a number of films; namely The Father of the Bride remake starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton and its sequel as well as the beloved Goldie Hawn-starring comedy Private Benjamin. But of course, she is best known for her late 1990s and 2000s romantic dramedies. Her films, though simple romances, tend to cost in the double-digit millions. Her films promise a feel-good atmosphere but also a certain aesthetic lifestyle. She has gone as far as, in the case of The Holiday, even had houses built from scratch for the purposes of shooting. Indeed, she is a unique and essential American filmmaker. Here are her five best films so far.
The Parent Trap (1998)
For people of a certain age, Meyer’s 1998 The Parent Trap remake was impossible to miss. For at least a decade — or more — it was syndicated on most of the Disney-owned cable channels on a monthly basis. It also skyrocketed the young and talented Lindsay Lohan to stardom as Annie James and Hallie Parker—twins separated at birth who conspire to bring their parents (played by Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson) back together. It is a sweet comedy full of funny mishaps.
Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
Like many of Meyer’s films, Something’s Gotta Give is star-studded, from its central characters played by Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton to more tertiary characters played by the likes of Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves, and Frances McDormand. The film sees Harry Sanborn (Nicholson) and Erica Barry (Keaton) find love with one another in spite of their vast differences in the way they conduct themselves and the way they see the world. It is a smart film and one of the most stylish in Meyer’s body of work.
The Intern (2015)
The Intern was a late-career hit for Meyers, but even more so for star Robert De Niro. In recent years his films have become increasingly disappointing and he has seemed less and less interested in their subject matter. But with The Intern, De Niro plays one of the warmest, most likable characters of his career. His character Ben Whittaker takes on an internship at a startup to break out of the doldrums of being a retired widower. He struggles to adjust to the latest technology as well as to win over his co-workers, played by Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, and others. It is one of the most heartfelt of Meyers’ films, which is a very high bar to clear.
The Holiday (2006)
In The Holiday, two women (played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz) find themselves in a similar situation — in desperate need of a vacation upon discovering their respective boyfriends have been unfaithful. One of them living in London and the other living in Los Angeles, the two swap houses for the coming Christmas season. They each forge a new, exciting relationship while living it up in one another’s towns (with characters played by Jack Black and Jude Law, respectively). It is a great, warm film for any time of year, but especially during the holiday season.
It’s Complicated (2009)
It’s Complicated is perhaps the zaniest of Meyers’ contemporary films. Aging, divorced parents Jake (Alec Baldwin) and Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) begin having a reckless affair after reuniting at their son’s college graduation. All the while, Jane is also falling into a relationship with her architect Adam Schaffer (played by Steve Martin). It’s Complicated is one of Meyers’ most memorable because it is a fascinating, funny portrayal of mature adults who cannot help but behave like self-centered, immature children.
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