Monday, September 21, 2009

Nancy Meyers Continues To Jack Up Careers



I wish Nancy Meyers had a dedicated ensemble cast. I wish that the Actors Guild would pass an acting law and decide that Nancy Meyers could pick only three actors in the business. Could be any willing three actors. But only three actors. And she would have to work with them for the rest of her career. That way, her shitty movies would only leave their stink on a select few. Unfortunately no such law exists. And either the recession is still really bad, Nancy Meyers gives really good Christmas gifts if you've worked with her, or no one pays attention to resumes any more, but she continues to make bad movies and great actors continue to star in them. She's rubbed shit on the likes of Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Frances McDormand, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. And now with her newest movie titled It's Complicated, it looks like she's made a really big shit sandwich and she's asked Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin to take a bite.

Or here's an idea. There should be a penalty for starring in one of her movies. Could be a physical penalty like lashings, or hobbling or something. Or could be a monetary penalty like taking every penny that actor has ever made or ever will make and burning it in front of them and hoping that they get a really bad cough from the ashes that lasts a couple of weeks.

Because seriously, why does this woman still make movies? And seriously, why isn't she treated like a leper in the industry? These are the questions that keep me up late at night.

15 comments:

Jess said...

This post is pretty offensive. While I agree not all of Nancy Meyers movies are winners (neither are Tarantino's, Scorsese's, etc.), there is a lot about her movies that I love, and so do a lot of other people. She wrote The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, Father of the Bride (remake), and Baby Boom. If you're not a woman over the age of 30, these movies weren't made for you, so don't bother going to see them. But don't work at denying them for the rest of us.

J.D. said...

Yeah, that was a pretty harsh assessment. I will cop to it that THE HOLIDAY is a guilty pleasure due mostly to my cinematic crush on Kate Winslet, but I digress...

PIPER said...

Jess,

Now this is how I want to start my Monday mornings.

My wife and I sat down to watch Something's Gotta Give one night and 20 minutes later, my wife asked that we eject the DVD. My wife is over 30 years old and she didn't care for the movie. I didn't either, but because you say that Nancy Meyers doesn't make movies for anyone other than women over 30, I have to offer that up. And I might argue that that would be a really good excuse for someone that's not making very good movies. Or that sells me short as someone who is not able to enjoy movies about women.

I enjoyed Baby Boom and for the record I enjoyed Protocol, Private Benjamin and Irreconciable Differences as well. But I also loved When Harry Met Sally, which Nora Ephron wrote, but I didn't like Sleepless In Seattle and You've Got Mail, which were both written and directed by her. So what all that means is that I'm not denying her past success, I just don't think she's making very good movies any more. Especially ones where she writes and directs them.

So was the post offensive to you? If so, I'm sorry. But Jess, if you've been around here much, you know that I come out of the gate rather strongly. That's just me. And if you knew me personally, you'd know I was the exact same way. And if you knew me, you'd know to either laugh or roll your eyes at this post and say "oh, Piper."

And if you think that I actually have the power to deny people from watching these movies, you give me far too much credit.

But on to Tarantino and Scorsese. You're not wrong in assessment of them putting out some "non-winners" but their "non-winners" still take the audience into consideration. What I've found in watching Nancy Meyer's movies is that she takes me for an idiot. Now please, please, please don't think for one second that I'm saying because you like the movies in question that I'm saying you're an idiot. Quite the contrary. What I'm saying is that you deserve more. If you what you say is true and that Nancy Meyers makes movies for women over the age of 30, I would say that she owes them something more. Something smarter. Something better than a guilty pleasure.

But all in all, this is just me. It's just my opinion, which you can take or leave. And in this comment, I probably wrote a better post than what I posted this morning.

J.D.

Yes, it was harsh. And I've pretty much written my argument to you in my comment to Jess. That I think cranking one "guilty pleasure" after the next is no way to build a career. But hey, look at Michael Bay.

PIPER said...

And to both Jess and J.D.

I've re-read what I wrote last night and I agree with both of you. It was harsh.

Jess said...

Piper, I do read you regularly, and appreciate your clarification. I don't think you're offensive in any way, it was just the language you used to describe movies you didn't like, but many people do. Calling something shit isn't very creative and I expect more from you.

corndogfuneral said...

AKA: Bird Flu

Did someone compare Nancy Meyers to Tarantino and Scorsese in this blog? Did they? Wow! Maybe it's just to get under your skin Piper. Maybe it's to get under everyone's skin that reads your blog. Maybe they love Nancy Meyers so much that they want to cause physical and metal pain with a few choice words. It's cheap, like a swift kick to the Jimmies and just as effective. Well madam, well done. Well done.

PIPER said...

Jess,

Point taken. And appreciated.

corndogfuneral,

I like the new handle. Where's my Plissken t-shirt?

Emily Blake said...

Father of the Bride was pretty good. I liked the scene where he ripped open the bag of hot dog buns.

JA said...

Nancy Meyers should be shot. She should be strapped down in a field and pecked to death by vultures. She should be garroted, burned alive, hung from the rafters, pulled apart by horses, decapitated, dipped in acid, thrown into a a volcano, strangled with her own hair, run through with a dozen pitchforks, and stuck into a very large blender to be pureed and turned into something called a hack-shake. All of these things should be done to Nancy Meyers. I stand by all of these claims 100%.

PIPER said...

JA,

You win.

J.D. said...

Now, THAT was harsh. ; )

Burbanked said...

It never would have occurred to me in ten lifetimes to classify this post as "offensive" or even the softer "harsh". If anything I think you're being too kind (now JA's ideas, well...). Nancy Meyers movies are the very height of mediocrity, all production design with no substance; hanging copper pots and lifestyles of People Who Only Exist In Movies™. Pure escapism in the movies can be fun, but this tired, uninspired lady has beaten that drum to death about a dozen times too many.

When Meyers was still making movies with her ex-husband Charles Shyer, my boss at Warner Bros. used to simply refer to them as the "Shmeyerses". And dismissively at that.

THE HOLIDAY and WHAT WOMEN WANT represent two of worst wastes of collective on-screen movie talent - with the obvious exception of Cameron Diaz - that I can currently conjure. Superficial dreck.

And for some reason, the dreck seems to perform consistently, which is why, naturally, she keeps getting the work.

Garrett Sorrels said...

I'd say the only thing truly offensive is that they didnt play "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker in this trailer. They had every opportunity to do so and they didnt. Shame on them.

Pat said...

I think "Irreconciable Differences" was sadly underrated, and I'm not immune to the charms of the "Father of the Bride" films or "Private Benjamin."

But, I'm with you, Piper. Nancy Meyers has been churning out a lot of big, glossy crap in recent years. I spend more time gawking at her characters' beautiful and cool stuff than caring what happens to them. (Burbanked comment above says it all on that topic.)

And, as you know, I am a woman over 30 myself.

Having said all that, however, the trailer for "It's Compicated" actually looked kinda fun to me, possibly an improvement over most of Meyers' lastest work, or at least, a guilty pleasure. Here's hoping.

Nickname unavailable said...

Nancy Meyers is not the only self-centered, self-aggrandizing Hollywood cardboard cutout character. She never had the spine, integrity, strength, wisdom nor foresight to venture beyond the mundane obvious and only a few steps out of the Catskill's vaudeville (modern day slapstick). Her verbose skills are above and beyond her movie making abilities - and her pu$$y-whipped husband Schyer is only following suit. Between the two of them they worked with terrific people in the past and kept up a good set of vitally important diplomatic protocol with Nichloson (Goin' soth), Steenburgen (Goin' south) - and her husband Ted Danson, Steve Martin (Father of the bride), Diane Keaton (Father of the bride), Martin Short, B.D. Wong. Now only this short list gives them access to mega names (which translates to mega production dollars. It's annoying that one below mediocre talent, with only one advantage (verbosity), good political standing in a rather emotionally bankrupt circle (Hollywood), can earn such money and such praise for shallow melodramatic stories and such half-wits.