Celebrity Jews: Sept. 7
THIRD GENERATION DIRECTOR
Home Again, a romantic comedy, opens on Friday, Sept. 7. It marks the directorial and screenwriting debut of Hallie Meyers-Shyer, 30. Hallie is the daughter of Nancy Meyers, 67, and Meyers’ ex-husband, Charles Shyer, 65. Charles, whose late father, Melville, was a film director, teamed up with Nancy to write Private Benjamin (1979) and they wed in 1980. From then, until their divorce in 1999, they made a series of hit “rom-coms,” including Irreconcilable Differences, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap. Charles directed the first three, with Nancy directing the last. Since they split, Charles hasn’t had a hit. But Nancy remained on a hot streak, directing What Women Want, Something’s Got to Give, The Holiday and It’s Complicated. She wrote the last two films, also. While Complicated and Nancy’s latest film, The Intern (2015), did well at the box office, critics noticed a big fall off in quality.
Romantic comedies appeal most to the young and almost always feature young characters. So, Nancy taking on producing Home Again, while Hallie writes and directs, is probably a good use of family resources.
Home stars Reese Witherspoon as Alice, a single mother of two young daughters who splits up with her husband, Austen (Michael Sheen). On her 40th birthday, she parties hard and ends up inviting three young filmmakers to crash for a while at her Los Angeles home (Nat Wolff, 22, Jon Rudnitsky, 27, and Pico Alexander). She begins a romantic affair with the much-younger guy played by Pico. More complications ensue when Austen wants to resume their marriage.
THE DAWN OF PORN
On Sunday, Sept. 10, the series The Deuce premieres on HBO. It was co-created by David Simon, 57 (The Wire, Treme). The setting is the tawdry scene in New York’s Times Square in the early 1970s. The series was inspired by a set of real-life twins who told Simon how the Mafia got into making porn films early on and how they became the Mafia’s porn-film front guys.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, 39, co-stars as Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a prostitute who is smart enough to realize that the about-to-boom porn industry is the way for her to get off the street and make some real money. James Franco, 39, plays twin brothers Vincent and Frank Martino, who become the Mafia’s “front” guys. Also appearing in a main cast part is Margarita Levieva, 37. Maybe this talented actress has finally found a breakthrough part. She plays Abby, an adventurous college student who strikes up a relationship with Vincent. David Krumholtz (Numb3ers) has a recurring part as Harvey Wasserman, an uber-sleazy porn producer. By the way, in recent roles, Krumholtz, 37, has put on weight — you’ll see that his current corpulence fits the Wasserman role, but I hope it isn’t a permanent look. He’s almost unrecognizable as Wasserman. •
Nate Bloom COLUMNIST