Jack, Keanu, Diane -- gotta love it
by Bob Strauss
There's nothing like being a single woman of a certain age to recharge the old creative juices. At least, that seems to be the case with Nancy Meyers.
After years spent writing safe, mainstream comedies such as 'Baby Boom' and the 'Father of the Bride' remakes that her ex-husband Charles Shyer directed, Meyers came into her own in a big way when she directed her own script for the blockbuster comedy-fantasy "What Women Want.'
Now, she's back doing double duty again on the most anticipated romantic comedy of the year, 'Something's Gotta Give,' in which Jack Nicholson's serial cradle-robbing record executive gives up his latest young conquest (Amanda Peet) when he unexpectedly falls in love with her mother (Meyers favorite Diane Keaton).
"Tons!" Meyers shouts when asked how much personal experience went into 'Gotta Give.' "I use myself all the time in my work. It's not always completely real -- I didn't have a relationship with a younger man, the way Diane does with Keanu Reeves in the movie, for example -- but it would be crazy to deny that I pull from my own life.'
Meyers admits that Nicholson's real-life reputation as a superbachelor -- "Every woman who worked on the movie agreed that Jack still has it, no doubt about it," Meyers says of the 66-year-old superstar's sex appeal -- helps put the picture across. But she's probably proudest of providing her friend Keaton with an opportunity to shine.
"She's a wonderful actress," Meyers notes. "But unfortunately, as everybody knows, as we get older the parts get smaller and less interesting. This is a big, fat, juicy part for a 55-year-old woman, and it's just been great to see Diane (who's 57 now) in it."
We can't wait. But even though 'Gotta Give' lacks 'What Women Want's' fantasy hook, we can't help but wonder if more than a little wish-fulfillment went into the new picture's scenario.
"There's an element of optimism, I would say," the writer-director suggests. "I think people fall in love at every age. I do."