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IT'S COMPLICATED

A Q & A With Writer/Director/Producer Nancy Meyers
What drew you to this subject?

Unbeknownst to me, I think I was drawn to the subject of divorce. Not the bitter side of the break-up, but the post-divorce world exes find themselves in and how their relationship, in many many ways, never really ends. I didn't realize this was the subject I was writing about until I was nearly done with the script.

What made you want to make this film?

I felt the subject was one I knew well and one my entire family has lived through...not the affair of course, but the day-to-day post divorce world. The bumping into one another, figuring out how to still parent together, how to live in the same town together. Notice how much the word "together” still exists once you're divorced?

How much of the film is autobiographical? Can you talk a bit about the way you use your own life in your work?

I've always used elements of my own life in my writing. What else do I really know? Private Benjamin was a woman my age, leaving home and figuring out what she wanted to be. Did I ever join the army? No. But were her parents much like mine? Yes, they were. And her journey, although different than my journey to Hollywood, were both life changers.

Irreconcilable Differences was about a couple trying to keep their sanity and values when success comes knocking. This was made after Private Benjamin, and it was the story we did not want to happen to us. Baby Boom was the story of a woman juggling her work and her child and took an honest look at how the corporate world viewed working mothers. It was a bit of a how-to story...how to survive it all while doing it all. The Father of the Bride years, were the years where our family was growing and it was easy to see how a parent would resist a wedding because, after all, Father of the Bride was about a parent not wanting to lose his daughter. Those were happy movies to make in very happy years in my life.

I made The Parent Trap for my 11-year-old daughter. The original was a family favorite, and I wanted to update it. It's a great girl empowerment movie. The movie is dedicated my daughter Hallie. That was followed by my divorce, and the first thing I wrote was a rewrite of a movie I renamed What Women Want. It was a great idea that I had a wonderful time writing. What a fantasy. If men knew how we thought, the world would be a better place. I found myself writing very personal things for the Helen Hunt character. Something's Gotta Give followed that. Yes, there's a lot of me in that story. The Holiday was a chance for me to get away from myself a little, but I found I had way too much in common with Kate Winslet's character. And now

It's Complicated...well, that's a complicated one to explain.

What is it about Jane that is like you?

I'd say Jane and I are similar in many ways but perhaps not as much as you'd expect. She's a lot braver than I am. As she says in the film, she "experimented with a part of herself.” I'd rather experiment with a character in a movie than actually make the choices she makes, but that's why she was so fun for me to write.

Did you ever consider the possibility that Jane might end up with Jake?

Never. I wanted Jane to be happy without Jake. She's earned that.

What are you saying through the choice of which man she ends up with?

Jane was stuck in the shadow of her marriage. She slipped back in momentarily and that's maybe all she needed to finally come out the other side. I don't know that she "ends up” with Adam, but I imagine them as a couple with real potential.

Can you talk more about the scene in which Jane explains to her kids why she did this? Talk more, if you can, about the role of the kids in the movie—how do Jane's obligations to her children effect what she does in the film? Is the same true for Jake? When

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