Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Meyers’


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 3.31.41 PMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “The Intern” with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, Adam’s Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania 2” and “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Interviewing movie stars: If you think De Niro is bad, try Tommy Lee Jones

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.12.26 AMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

What would you do if Robert De Niro cut short your conversation with a quick, “I’m not doing this, darling,” and exited? If you’re Radio Times journalist Emma Brockes you write about it and watch your article go viral.

As unpleasant as the encounter may have been — he objected to the “negative inference” of her questions, she called him condescending — it did exactly what it was meant to do, generate buzz for De Niro’s upcoming film The Intern.

Who won? I’ll give the edge to Brockes who, when faced with a bad situation, turned De Niro’s lemons into lemonade and earned just as much press as the touchy actor.

De Niro took some blowback for his behaviour. Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan wrote, “If I’d been her, I’d have slapped him ’round his smug little chops,” adding the Goodfellas star is “renowned as the rudest, most difficult and frankly obnoxious star to interview, possibly in the history of planet Earth.”

I think Morgan overstates his case. De Niro isn’t the worst — anyone who has ever done a movie junket knows Tommy Lee Jones is the crankiest, most soul destroying interview ever — he’s just a reticent interview, who, according to director Nancy Myers, doesn’t want “to expose himself all the time.”

De Niro isn’t alone in the chat-and-dash sweepstakes. Robert Downey Jr. and Quentin Tarantino bolted on Krishnan Guru-Murthy with the Avengers: Age of Ultron actor later calling the Channel 4 news presenter a “syphilitic parasite.” Robert Pattinson, Naomi Campbell and Russell Crowe have also done runners on the press.

So why submit to promotional interviews at all? Contractual obligation has much to do with it, but beyond that, they’re good for the movie. Daniel Radcliffe, star of Harry Potter, Horns and the upcoming Victor Frankenstein, once told me no matter how famous the actor, anyone who doesn’t get out and pump their film up to the press is making a huge mistake.

As a result everyone does them and while it’s easy to look at De Niro or Downey as spoiled brats, I’m surprised walkouts don’t happen more often.

It must get brutally dull answering the same questions over and over, particularly when they are of the “Of all your leading ladies who was the best kisser?” variety.

How bad can it get in the interview suites?

Once a talking head proudly told me she wrote new lyrics for Beyoncé’s hit song Survivor… “My name’s Beyoncé/ I’m in Goldmember/ You’re watching blah blah on blah blah blah…” and asked the superstar to sing them as a promo for her television station. If I were Beyoncé I would have exited stage left without a song on my lips.

I remember one “reporter” asking George Lucas “whether Dark Vader was a good guy or a bad guy.” If I were Lucas I would have hitched a Millennium Falcon ride out of there.

Recently I heard Tom Cruise try and answer the question, “What kind of stunt would you do to impress a girl?” If I were Cruise I would have grabbed the side of the nearest plane and jetted out of there.

As for De Niro, Brockes graciously says she has sympathy for him “because nobody wants to be there for these choreographed junket interviews.”

De Niro wasn’t quite as kind, but at least he called her “darling” and not “syphilitic parasite.”


Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 9.51.50 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “The Intern” with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, Adam’s Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania 2” and “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE INTERN: 2 STARS. “lots of lifestyle porn and a good dose of sentimentality.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.09.24 PM“The Intern” is a Nancy Meyers odd couple / buddy movie about a “senior” intern, played by Robert De Niro, working for Anne Hathaway’s whirlwind of an internet start up boss. Expect jokes like, “This job ages you, which in your case isn’t a good thing,” lots of lifestyle porn and a good dollop of sentimentality.

Hathaway is Jules Ostin, owner operator of About the Fit, a website specializing in upscale women’s clothes. In just eighteen months she has turned it into a going concern, with over two hundred employees and thousands of orders a day. Despite her success—and eighteen-hour work days—the company is growing so quickly her investors want to bring in an experienced CEO to grow the business.

Enter Ben Whittaker, a seventy-year-old widower who applies for a job as senior intern to help pass the time. After a shaky start the pair bond as Jules comes to regard Ben as a calming influence and a bottomless font of advice. De Niro’s back to playing “The Godfather”… but the magical fairy godfather who becomes Uncle Ben to everyone in the office, teaching the boys to be men and Jules to enjoy life.

A mix of slapstick and sentimentality “The Intern” is clearly designed to be a crowd pleaser, the kind of movie that moves along with few speed bumps along the way. But there are speed bumps. Take for example a woefully conceived house break-in scene that must be one of the worst action scenes ever committed to film. Or an infidelity subplot that rears its ugly head in the final third and does little except to raise the dramatic stakes, but it’s clumsy and feels tagged on. How about the film’s murky stance on women having a career and a family?

Juxtaposing Millennials and Baby Boomers should mine a rich vein of comedy and there are a few gags sprinkled throughout “The Intern,” but it feels aimed at an older audience who might find sitcom gags like a young guy walking in on what he thinks is a sex act, but is actually completely innocent. Cue the laugh track.

“The Intern” relies on charm rather than knee slappers. De Niro and Hathaway have good chemistry and can effortlessly bound between mawkish melodrama and comedy. Is this one of De Niro’s more memorable characters? Nope. Ben Whittaker and Travis Bickle will never be mentioned on the same breath but his work here could be considered a companion piece to “Meet the Fockers.”


The_Holiday_Wallpaper_by_marty_mclfyShivers go up and down my spine when holiday movies use words like “heartwarming” in their ads. I’ve seen enough of them to know what that really means. Usually “heartwarming” actually translates to saccharine. Now combine heartwarming AKA saccharine, with a romantic comedy set during the holidays; Add in one dancing for joy scene, usually in a kitchen or just after receiving some good news on the phone, and you have The Holiday, the latest romantic comedy from evil genius Nancy Meyers.

The Holiday combines all manner of romantic comedy stereotypes. There is the fish-out-of-water routine as English Rose Kate Winslett and California cutie Cameron Diaz decide to trade homes (and countries) for the holidays to help themselves heal from failed relationships. There’s the above-mentioned dancing, the odd pairings—could it ever really work out between Winslett and Jack Black?—the predictable pairings—why wouldn’t it work out between Diaz and Jude Law?—and lots of beautiful homes, great scenery and even some cute kids.

Why then did this movie bug me so much? I think it probably has something to do with its inherent misogyny. At the heart of The Holiday, lurking just under the glitzy surface is the idea that a woman isn’t complete unless she has a man in her life. Both female leads are successful women with careers and lives and yet both only really feel complete in the company of men.

The Holiday is formulaic, too long by half an hour and if all holidays were like this I would never leave my house again.