Writer and director Nancy Meyers is a distinguished filmmaker who has dazzled audiences for over 40 years with classics like The Parent Trap. Not only has Meyers helmed some of Hollywood’s most endearing and charming pictures, but she has also helped write many hits including Father of the Bride and its subsequent sequel, and frequently partnered with her former husband Charles Shyer.
The gifted director got her start back in 1980 when she helped pen the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated comedy Private Benjamin, before going on to create memorable movies like What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday. Meyers is currently working on a new project under the working title Paris Paramount, with Warner Bros. Pictures in talks to bankroll the flick after Netflix backed out. These are Nancy Meyer’s best movies, ranked by Rotten Tomatoes.
Touting a star-studded ensemble cast led by Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black, the 2006 romantic comedy The Holiday centers on two emotionally dejected women on opposite sides of the world who decide to escape their relationship woes by switching homes for the Christmas season in an effort to find solace and reprieve from their respective miseries.
Society columnist Iris (Winslet) heads to sunny California in hopes of mending her broken heart, while the career-focused Amanda (Diaz) opts for cold and cozy London to get over her failed romance. Both ladies find their lives completely changed during their impromptu getaways, and despite garnering mixed reviews from critics the wholesome and feel-good flick has since gone on to become a beloved Christmas classic.
Steve Martin once again reprised his role as devoted dad George Stanley Banks in the 1995 comedy Father of the Bride Part II, which follows the loving family man as he grapples with the fact that his cherished daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams) is pregnant and that he is going to be a grandfather. George is further flabbergasted when his wife Nina (Diane Keaton) also reveals she is expecting, causing him to come to terms with these massive new milestones in his life.
The highly-anticipated follow-up to the celebrated remake failed to achieve the same success as its predecessor but was nonetheless a success at the box office, earning $76 million and an A- CinemaScore by audiences. Meyers co-wrote the sequel with her then-husband Charles Shyer, who also directed the sweet and fuzzy flick.
In the 2000 romantic fantasy comedy What Women Want, Mel Gibson portrays the ultimate ladies’ man and chauvinist Nick Marshall, a wealthy Chicago ad executive who finds his fun-loving world turned upside down after a freak accident leaves him with the ability to read women’s minds. After initially struggling with his bizarre new gift, Nick decides to use it to his benefit and sets out to win over his new boss Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt), and get ahead at his competitive company.
What Women Want was a massive blockbuster hit, raking in over $370 million and becoming Meyers’ most profitable film in her illustrious career so far. Gibson garnered widespread praise for his role as the sexist lothario and earned a Golden Globe nomination, while the comedy also received a Saturn Award nod for Best Fantasy Film. A remake of the film starring Taraji P. Henson, What Men Want, was released in 2019.
Legendary cinema icon Meryl Streep was phenomenal once again when she starred opposite Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin in the 2009 romantic comedy It’s Complicated, in which the acclaimed actress appears as successful bakery owner and single mother Jane Adler as she begins a steamy and secret affair with her married ex-husband Jake (Baldwin) nearly a decade after their divorce. Jane finds their no-strings-attached dalliance muddled as old feelings return, and she also becomes attracted to the kind-hearted architect (Martin) remodeling her kitchen.
The undeniable chemistry between the sensational trio helped make It’s Complicated a massive slam dunk, with the Boston Globe calling the picture “the most emotionally sophisticated of all Meyers’s fantasies.” The filmmaker wrote, directed, and produced the entertaining rom-com, earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Screenplay for her extraordinary efforts.
Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway headline the 2015 buddy dramedy The Intern, which stars the silver screen great as a seventy-year-old widower and retired executive Ben Whittaker, who decides to get back into the game and apply for a job at a popular e-commerce fashion startup after becoming bored with his laid-back lifestyle.
Ben instantly hits it off with his boss and company founder Jules (Hathaway), with the duo developing an endearing and special friendship that helps shape both their personal and professional lives. The sweet and charming film features stellar performances by both De Niro and Hathaway, with the talented pair’s refreshing on-screen camaraderie delighting moviegoers of all ages and helping establish the dramedy as a hit at the box office.
Nancy Meyers partnered up with her former husband Charles Shyer when she co-wrote the 1984 dramedy Irreconcilable Differences, telling the amusing story of a bright little girl (Drew Barrymore) who decides to sue her workaholic and self-absorbed parents (Ryan O’Neal & Shelley Long) for divorce after becoming fed-up with constantly being neglected by her career-driven mom and dad. The precocious child attracts nationwide media attention by the act, causing the disconnected family to reevaluate their lives and relationships with one another.
A modest critical and commercial success, Irreconcilable Differences helped further cement Barrymore’s status as one of Hollywood’s most gifted up-and-comers, while both O’Neal and Long nabbed Golden Globe nods for their compelling performances. O’Neal only had great things to say about the project and experience, having expressed, “I love the movie. So I did it for no salary, just points. It was made for under $6 million, so they didn’t have the money to pay us. Still, I think it’s some of my best work. Maybe I should work like that more often.”
A remake of the Elizabeth Taylor/Spencer Tracy ’50s classic of the same name, the 1991 romantic comedy Father of the Bride stars Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, and Martin Short and focuses on successful business owner George Banks as he struggles with the notion that his beloved daughter Annie is getting married and about to start a new life and her own family. George becomes overwhelmed by how fast his world is changing as he deals with the hijinks and chaos that come with planning a wedding.
The endearing rom-com undeniably features one of Martin’s greatest performances, and the wholesome storyline captured the hearts of moviegoers all across the globe. The Washington Post perfectly summed up Martin’s lovable portrayal in the remake, writing “it is so funny, it’s almost sublime. The explanation is simple: It’s all Steve Martin.” The flick remains one of Myers’ most famous and enduring projects.
For the critically-lauded 2003 romantic dramedy Something’s Gotta Give, Nancy Meyers enlisted the help of cinema veterans Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in a refreshing film that chronicles the unlikely relationship between two polar opposite people who meet and connect under the strangest circumstances.
When aging lothario Harry Sanborn travels to the Hamptons to meet the family of his twenty-something girlfriend, he finds himself attracted to the young woman’s scandalized mother Erica (Keaton), resulting in a complicated and downright dicey situation.
Something’s Gotta Give attracted rave reviews from both critics and audiences alike, with Keaton winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress and also landing an Oscar nomination. People couldn’t get enough of the film’s savvy screenplay, delightful humor, and winning performances, and it remains one of the best rom-coms of the 2000s.
Goldie Hawn delivered arguably the finest performance of her career when she starred in the 1980 comedy Private Benjamin, in which the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In alum demonstrated her infectious charisma when she portrayed wealthy Jewish-American royal and recent widow Judy Benjamin.
She decides to shake up her life and routine and enlist in the Women’s Army Corps in an effort to find meaning in her life. Though Judy is put through the wringer by her tough-as-nails Captain (Eileen Brennan), the resilient young woman discovers her self-worth and confidence while going through basic training.
Private Benjamin was one of the most successful films of the year and received three Academy Awards including Best Actress for Hawn and Best Screenplay for writers Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, and Harvey Miller. The lauded comedy helped pave the way for Meyers’ enduring Hollywood career, and landed on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.
Lindsay Lohan knocked it out of the park when she took on the dual roles of twin sisters Annie James and Hallie Parker in the fan-favorite 1998 romantic comedy The Parent Trap, a remake of the ’60s film of the same name that follows the separated-at-birth siblings as they are reunited while attending a summer camp.
They set out to bring their parents (Dennis Quaid & Natasha Richardson) back together and make their family whole. The brilliant twins square off against the calculating Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) on their mission, leading side-splitting chaos in their wake.
The Parent Trap launched Lohan into stardom and she dazzled audiences with her career-defining role as Annie and Hallie, doing such a stellar job that moviegoers were convinced they were two different people. Critics raved about Lohan and Meyers’ updated screenplay, with Reel Film Reviews praising the comfort flick in their review and writing that it’s “…exactly the sort of easy-going, endlessly engaging family film that seems to have become an unusually rare breed in this day and age.”