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Nancy Meyer's romantic comedy "Something's Gotta Give"
explores baby boomer love.
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at the dentist at 14.
"It was a Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy," she said.
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
"When I awakened, I told the dentist the entire plot."
Yet Meyers initially didn't set her sights on Hollywood,
decade ago, filmmaker Nancy Meyers became
to the more conventional path outlined for Women
intrigued by a Hollywood friend who exclusive-
generation. "At my Reform temple, girls weren't
Reservations now being
ly dated younger women. "They were always
mitzvahed," she said. "I was always jealous of
between 25 and 30," said Meyers,, 54, who
taken through 2004
because for girls it just wasn't done."
directed the Mel Gibson hit
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While attending American University, she said she
the years, he went from his 40s to his 60s, but the
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"went with the program and got engaged to a Jewish boy
women never got any older."
my junior year. But instead of getting married, I can-
As she advanced through her 40s, Meyers felt increas-
celed weeks before the wedding and moved to California
ingly "invisible" around her friend. She wondered, "If I
were stranded on a desert island with such a man, would
Early on, she sold cheesecakes, based on her Aunt
I still be invisible?" Her musing led to a movie premise
recipe, while struggling to support herself as a
about a cradle-robber who falls for his girlfriend's mom.
Because Meyers' screenplays always reflect her life, she
She met her
wasn't ready to tackle the topic until she divorced around
2000 and found herself 50ish and single.
"Suddenly my premise became a completely different
kind of story," she said. "I wanted to write about the
realities of a couple falling in love late in life."
* * *
Her new romantic comedy,
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record company executive whose girlfriends are under 30.
When he attempts to consummate his latest relation-
ship at her mother's beach house, he collapses from a
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heart attack and is left in the care of the mom, Erica
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of e ual or lesser value
As the two are forced into each other's company, sparks
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said of why
Last week, the National Board of Review named
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she was smit-
Keaton best 2003 actress for her performance.
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Time magazine called the comedy a "December-
December romance"; it's one of an unprecedented new
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Yet some viewers see Give as Meyers' romantic fantasy,
complete with a cute young doctor suitor for Erica
played by Keanu Reeves. While the director admits the
Director/writer Nancy Meyers on the
Decorate in style with
Reeves relationship is a stretch ("I've not dated a 36-year-
set of her romantic comedy "Something's
idea about a
old doctor, unfortunately," she said), she doesn't think
the Harry-Erica pairing is farfetched.
"People say, 'Your movie is so optimistic,"' said Meyers,
(Goldie Hawn) who joins the Army after her husband
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who indicates she's had one age-appropriate relationship
on their wedding night.
since her divorce. "Are these people suggesting that if sin-
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gle men had the option, they'd never go with anyone
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their own age? I don't think that's true.
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"People like to call Judy Benjamin a Jewish princess,
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who aren't waiting for their spouses to die or to get a
but I take great offense at that expression," she said. "It's
divorce so they can have that trophy wife.
a racist, sexist caricature: the girl who gets a nose job,
"And I think that a lot of men, when they do meet
shops and wants to be taken care of.
someone close to their age, feel they have found some-
Judy is actually a woman of her time, with the
thing perhaps more solid than when they're dating a
of her time. Because of social conventions, she
woman 25 years younger. I mean, it must be a relief not
a road that wasn't right for her, and the
to have to act 35 in bed when you're 60."
to grow up and to figure out her life."
Wry, down-to-earth Meyers has always had a penchant-
1981 Oscar nomination for Private
for turning fantasy into reality. The daughter of a
• IN STORE
over the years, she became known for films
Philadelphia voting machine manufacturer, she dreamed
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she co-wrote with Shyer, including 1984's Irreconcilable
up her first movie — literally — while under anesthesia
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'When nothing but the most imaginative will do"