We’re no strangers to the often equally talented progeny of Hollywood’s A-list - but now for the first time (I’m assuming. Can’t be bothered Googling it.) we’ve been bequeathed a female filmmaker to add to the small yet illustrious and growing squad, following in the footsteps of her father Charles Shyer who gave us the ‘Father of the Bride’ films, and her mother Nancy Meyers who has giving us everything from ‘Private Benjamin’ to ‘It’s Complicated’ and ‘The Holiday’. Ladies and gentlemen: I present to you Hallie Meyers-Shyer.
Straight out of the gate, this gal is going big (or going home), writing and directing her debut with none other than Academy Award-winner and all-around cinematic darling Reese Witherspoon as her heroine.
Reese plays Alice, a newly separated mother of two daughters who, since her separation from Austen (Michael Sheen, 'Frost/Nixon'), has decided to move back to Los Angeles and into the home her father left. On the night of her 40th birthday and free from mum-duty, Alice lets loose with her girlfriends and ends up meeting aspiring, broke and recently homeless 20-something-year-old filmmakers Harry (Pico Alexander, ‘War Machine’), Teddy (Nat Wolff, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’) and George (Jon Rudnitsky, ‘SNL’). Through her mother’s (Candice Bergen, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’) interference, the trio end up moving in with Alice and the girls, fulfilling the male roles she wishes her ex-husband would provide not only for her daughters but for herself too... if you know what I mean *wink wink*.
...when it comes to filmmaking styles she’s Single White Female-ing her own mother.
While having the right surname in Hollywood is never a bad thing, most would try to step out from their famous parent’s shadow - unfortunately in Hallie’s case, she’s not only very comfortable in it, when it comes to filmmaking styles she’s Single White Femaling her own mother. Everything from the set designs, story, tone, even the musical score is ripped straight from Nancy Meyer’s playbook.
Hallie is well and truly her mother’s daughter, and while she shares the same flare behind the camera, unfortunately her talents are yet to be nurtured at the keyboard. Hallie’s screenplay, while sweet and often funny, it’s also choppy and underdeveloped. She’s also put together a cast of distractingly beautiful people, taking away from the genuine relationships and issues she’s trying to highlight. A shame since they feature a strong, funny, single woman, in her 40s - not something we see very often.
Certainly not one to discourage a female ballsy enough to enter the Hollywood fray, only time and (fingers crossed) a follow up film will truly let us see the real Hallie Meyers-Shyer and what she’s all about - but for now, this is simply a nice film made by “Nancy Meyers' daughter”.