For almost 24 hours straight, romantic comedy buffs and extremely online individuals have been consumed by one question: Why, exactly, has Nancy Meyers—or, more specifically, her daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer, a director in her own right—entered the Twitter discourse?
For the uninitiated, Vulture is currently celebrating “Nancy Meyers Week,” which kicked off with an extensive interview with Meyers and a taxonomy of the director’s films by writer Rachel Handler. On Wednesday, Meyers-Shyer chimed in with an, um, fairly negative review of the taxonomy on Instagram, which surprised many readers who initially read the pieces as generous tributes—and got no small amount of celebrities up in arms. Below, find all the answers to your questions about the ongoing drama.
What did the Vulture article say?
Handler and Meyers engaged in what appeared to be friendly repartee throughout the interview, but Handler didn’t spare Meyers’s oeuvre criticism entirely during Nancy Meyers Week, writing an accompanying taxonomy of her filmography that was lightly critical at worst (but, to this reader’s eye, extremely loving in tone).
What did Meyers-Shyer’s Instagram post say?
Meyers-Shyer made her Instagram profile private on Thursday morning, but her full remarks were screencapped by many and posted on Twitter:
Meyers-Shyer objected to Handler’s lighthearted characterization of her mother’s films (which, it should be said, are…fairly lighthearted themselves?), but the real pain point seemed to be Handler referring to the 2017 film Home Again as one that Meyers-Shyer “technically directed”, despite the fact that the film still felt like it fit within a larger category of Nancy Meyers movies (and Meyers did actually produce the film.) Meyers-Shyer took umbrage at what she perceived as the implication, writing, “I am not for the taking simply because my parents are filmmakers.” The point is taken, but if I may offer one of my own; if you went into the same field as your incredibly successful and famous parent, you have every right to find success of your own in that field, but you shouldn’t necessarily expect the world at large to spare you any accusations of nepotism. Nobody is claiming Meyers-Shyer isn’t talented, least of all Handler, but it’s possible to be both talented and privileged!
Meyers-Shyer also alleges that as the daughter of a famous Hollywood mother, she comes in for scrutiny that the daughters of famous Hollywood fathers don’t face. Again…debatable!
Which celebrities have weighed in?
A lot of them, before Meyers-Shyer’s Instagram account went private. Most, like Mindy Kaling, Chloe Fineman, Samantha Ronson, and Home Again star Reese Witherspoon, expressed support for Meyers-Shyer’s position. Witherspoon even affirmed that Meyers-Shyer “directed the shit” out of Home Again.
One notable dissenter, though, was Tavi Gevinson, who wrote in an Instagram comment, “I read that article and thought it was a total love letter. I don’t think it’s sexist or reductive to taxonomize tropes in someone’s movies.”
Has Nancy Meyers responded?
No, God bless her.
Why, ultimately, should we care about this?
Well, you definitely don’t have to, being that it’s primarily a Twitter dustup, but the drama does bring up some real questions about the ways in which journalists interview and interact with celebrities. Is it a journalist’s job to engage critically with an artist’s body of work, or to stamp it with an unquestioning seal of approval without questioning why, exactly, it connects with people?