Most people don’t want to just see a Nancy Meyers movie. They want to live in one.
The director of “Something’s Gotta Give,” “It’s Complicated,” “The Intern” and “The Parent Trap” creates catalog-esque worlds of glamour on the big screen. Consider how reel life is seeping into real life: “The other day my daughter’s friend texted me to say, ‘I know these girls who are doing a Nancy Meyers bachelorette party. They rented a house in the Hamptons and are serving food from all of your movies.’
“I FaceTimed them and they were wearing white turtlenecks and tortoiseshell glasses like Diane Keaton wore in ‘Something’s Gotta Give.’ I was so touched,” Meyers says, laughing.
Her daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, directs the new Reese Witherspoon film “Home Again,” which Meyers produced. The film revolves around Alice, who has just turned 40, and has separated from her husband. She moves into the house her father left her with her two girls and invites three delightfully adorable young men to live in her guest house.
It’s a family affair when Meyers does this interview with Hallie and her 4-year-old grandson, as well as daughter Annie, all in the room.
Review-Journal: What’s a typical Sunday like at your home in the Pacific Palisades?
Meyers: I might be writing on a Sunday. It’s quiet, which is perfect. When I write, I need to sit at my desk in my home office with my music playing softly and my books around me looking out at my trees.
Your daughter wrote and directed “Home Again.” What is that like?
I knew she was writing a script, but she didn’t send it to me until she was (almost done), and I loved it. I started giving her notes and she asked me to produce it. It deserved to get made. We were very lucky that we had a 24-year-old financier who loves working with women filmmakers and said yes overnight. That doesn’t happen too much these days with films.
What did you learn about your daughter being on set with her?
This was her first movie, and I found out that she has nerves of steel. I’m a much bigger worrier than she is. I remember talking to other directors about their first movies, and we realized that people do such good work with No. 1 because they don’t know what they don’t know. Sometimes the more you know, the more concerned you are. Our combination of being new and more experienced at the job was wonderful.
On your Instagram, there was a photo of you and Hallie on the beach in Los Angeles after a day of shooting. It was one of those gold-orange sunsets and you have your arms around each other. Maybe that should be the movie poster.
I love that photo. We were so tired after a long day, but we did it together. I’m in her coat and she’s in mine. It got cold that day and she handed me her jacket; I’m a mom, so I eventually draped mine over her shoulders. We wrapped for the day and were walking back to base camp with our arms around each other. It was such a lovely moment — and one I will never ever forget.
You are known for creating film houses that we all want to live in. “Home Again” is no exception. It was a Las Vegas-type Spanish house.
I love gorgeous ranch houses. Hallie Googled Spanish-style houses in Brentwood and this house came up. It was empty, which worked out perfectly, and had a guest house for the guys. The house also had a lot of history. I think Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck lived there at one point. Reese said, ‘I’ve been to this house. I’ve been to birthday parties here.’
Speaking of Las Vegas, do you ever come to town?
I went to Vegas about a year ago to see Steve Martin and Martin Short at Caesars. I had a great time at their show. Vegas is my other daughter’s favorite place on earth. I think the daughters should do a trip to Vegas. The thing with me and Vegas is I’m not a late-night person. Even when I saw Steve and Martin’s show, I was up really late. At one point I thought, ‘I don’t even know what time it is, but that’s okay. It’s Vegas!’
As the next generation steps up to the camera, do you find yourself giving your daughter advice?
Every single day … but Hallie knows what kinds of movies she likes to make. They aren’t always the kind the big studios like to make. Because there are so many platforms now, movies have to be bigger, louder and noisier. You need a reason to get out of your house and come to the movies. The good news is if Hallie wanted to do something with Netflix or Amazon, there are so many possibilities. It’s an exciting time.
Do you have plans to work together again?
We don’t. I do plan to see her all the time. She’s off and running now, but only lives about 30 minutes away. We can make each other dinner.