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Genre, Authorship and Contemporary Women Filmmakers$
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Katarzyna Paszkiewicz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474425261

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425261.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 April 2020

What a Woman Wants? Nancy Meyers’s The Intern

What a Woman Wants? Nancy Meyers’s The Intern

Chapter:
(p.209) 6. What a Woman Wants? Nancy Meyers’s The Intern
Source:
Genre, Authorship and Contemporary Women Filmmakers
Author(s):

Katarzyna Paszkiewicz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474425261.003.0007

This chapter focalises on Nancy Meyers, arguably the most successful woman filmmaker of all time. It shows how Meyers’s carefully composed mise-en-scène and the portrayal of privileged women protagonists contribute to a critical alignment between the director and her films, and at the same time how they are used to demonstrate Meyers’s lack of credibility as an auteur (a reading strategy which often impacts other women directors, such as Sofia Coppola, as analysed in Ch. 5). This analysis is framed within the broader discussions of auteurism, the generic conventions of the romcom and the so-called feminisation of mass culture (Husseyn 1986, Hollows 2005), as well as the cultural, critical and industrial gendering of genres. The remainder of the chapter offers an examination of The Intern (2015). The film has been dubbed as ‘a romantic comedy without the romance’, and it indeed draws on several of its generic conventions: romance’s narrative stages, the presence of the ‘wrong partner’, the sense of ‘belonging together’, and bromantic elements which allow for a rethinking of the gendering of genres. The detailed analysis of the film reveals Meyers’s self-reflexive strategies – rich discursive histories engendered by the presence of stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, among others – that invoke issues of central importance in this book: the question of female authorship in a male-dominated film industry, and the heritage and evolution of genre in the Hollywood context.

Keywords:   romantic comedy, bromantic comedy, mise-en-escène, female authorship, mass culture, gendering of genres, self-reflexivity, Hollywood, Nancy Meyers, The Intern

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