Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal recently described Nancy Meyers as “money in the bank” in terms of creating hit romantic comedies for adults. Meyers, who has called herself “a nice Jewish girl from Philadelphia,” wrote “Private Benjamin,” “Baby Boom” and “Father of the Bride” with husband Charles Shyer (they are now separated).
Meyers finally got to direct in 2000 and had a hit with “What Women Want.” She followed up in 2003 with the charming “Something’s Gotta Give,” which she directed and wrote.
Meyers’ new film, “The Holiday,” opens Friday, Dec. 8. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play women who’ve had romantic breakups and decide to change the scenery and swap homes for awhile. Winslet gets involved with Jack Black and Diaz hooks up with Jude Law.
Meyers must like old Jewish men. She hired three of the oldest working Jewish actors for “Holiday” supporting parts: Eli Wallach, 92, Shelley Berman, 80, and Bill Macy, 84 (Macy is best known for playing Bea Arthur’s husband on TV’s “Maude”).
Estelle Reiner, 92, wife of Carl Reiner and mother of Rob Reiner, is still performing. Every December, for 27 years, she has drawn crowds to hear her sing popular songs at a Los Angeles night club. This year’s “all-new show” features tunes from Mel Brooks’ movies and the theme song from her husband’s 1970 film, “Where’s Poppa?”
Estelle and Carl, 84, have been married for 62 years. Just about everybody “knows” Estelle from her role as a restaurant customer in “When Harry Met Sally.” She’s the one who responds to Meg Ryan loudly faking an orgasm, with the classic line, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Gee, performing at 92? I’ll have whatever Estelle is having.
The term “blood diamond” refers to diamonds that came out of war-torn parts of Africa in the 1990s and were then sold to support gangster-like rebel leaders.
“Blood Diamond” is also the title of director Edward Zwick’s new film, opening Dec. 8. A South African (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a black man (Djimon Hounsou) from Sierra Leone join forces to retrieve a huge diamond that the black guy hid while working as a “slave” diamond miner. Joining them is an American journalist (Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly, whose mother is Jewish).
“Diamond” has good advance buzz as an exciting adventure with a message.
Mad Mel and the real Kramer
Mel Gibson’s new movie, “Apocalypto,” opens Dec. 8, and since I want it to flop, it probably won’t. The good news is that you can see Irish Catholic comedian Dennis Leary sing “The Mel Gibson Blues” online (http://www.tmz.com/2006/11/10/leary-sings-mel-gibson-blues/).
Leary, who trashed Gibson’s anti-Semitism from the Red Sox broadcast booth last summer, pretends to be Gibson in his scathing song. One line: “I like to drink, I like to drive, I like to think that all the Jews got out of the Holocaust alive.”
Michael Richards is often being paired with Gibson since he let forth with a bunch of racial slurs onstage last month. Well, Richards isn’t the only guy under siege. I checked in with (the Jewish) Kenny Kramer, who is the acknowledged model for Richards’ “Seinfeld” character. For many years, Kenny has given fun tours of “Seinfeld” spots in New York and people book via his Web site (www.kennykramer.com)
Kenny tells me that, via his site, he is being barraged by hate emails by stupid people who think he is Michael Richards! He is hoping that Richards’ problems don’t hurt his business, but he says it is too early to tell.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at email@example.com.