If you’ve ever ogled the counter space in the pornographically large kitchens of a Nancy Meyers movie, well, sorry to inform you that you’re sexist.
In a recent Q&A with Mindy Kaling at the PGA’s Produced By event, Meyers said that reviewers and journalists too often focus on the famously ginormous Meyers kitchens from movies like It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give in ways that they don’t when male directors make movies where people live in fancy-ass houses:
“I don’t love when a journalist or critic will pick up on that aspect, because they’re missing why it works. It’s never done to male directors who make gorgeous movies, or where the leads live in a gorgeous house,” Meyers said.
As evidenced by my work on this site, I can’t speak as a journalist, but I can speak as a fan who has a favorite Meyers kitchen (it’s Something’s Gotta Give, that island!), this kind of misses the mark. First off, I’ve never lost my shit over the kitchen in a male-directed movie because I’ve never been obsessed enough with a Judd Apatow kitchen enough to google it and look at the countertops while drooling slightly. But Meyers and Kaling seem to think this fascination with the set design in her films is“pejorative” in comparison to discussion of directors like Wes Anderson’s sets.
But it’s hard to understand their definition of pejorative when a quick search for “Nancy Meyers kitchen” turns up nothing but praise for the sets and tips for styling a home similar to the Hamptons-esque feel of some of her best movie houses. For that to offend Meyers feels a little dismissive of the people—some of them baking-enthusiast weekend bloggers—who adore the whole vibe of a Meyers film, which includes the set just as much as the story. What’s so wrong with people enjoying these fantasy kitchens in the same way they enjoy the fantasy of a rom-com? They’re idealized, unrealistic, and utterly charming, just like the films themselves. Acknowledging those parallels is just a way of discussing, not diminishing, the work.
“But I’m not going to change it,” Meyers said of the kitchens. Okay, but I’m not sure who she thinks is asking her to.