Hollywood scion Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s movie opens tomorrow
In the new film Home Again, recently separated Alice (played by Reese Witherspoon), returns home to California to raise her young daughters in a sun-dappled Spanish-style house that once belonged to her director father. When her (almost) ex visits, he remarks, “You’ve really made it your own.”
The same can be said for the film’s writer-director, Hallie Meyers-Shyer. Daughter of Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, the creators of some of the most beloved (and stylish) movies of the last 25 years (Father of the Bride, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday), the first-time filmmaker has put her own stamp on the scenes and the setting.
It’s no surprise to learn the 29-year-old Meyers-Shyer caught the bug early on, while on set. “I was always drawn to it,” she says. “My parents nurtured my interest and educated me. We watched so many movies growing up, and I really came into it as a writer.” After graduating from The New School and attending USC for a year, she dove into screenwriting. She cites Billy Wilder, Woody Allen and Cameron Crowe as inspirations for her work.
Having penned the script, Meyers-Shyer knew she wanted to helm the project and decided there was only one place to shoot: L.A., where she grew up and lives today, in Benedict Canyon. “It was important to me for it to be a California story,” she says. “I was also feeling that in TV and film lately, L.A. was getting a bad rap.”
The writer-director sought to paint a more romantic view inspired by 1960s and ’70s films like Shampoo and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. “I watched all these movies while I was writing,” she says. “I kind of wanted to show a cooler, Warren Beatty/Jack Nicholson Los Angeles.” Fittingly, she chose spots like The Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel, Will Rogers State Beach and a private home in Malibu.
But most of the scenes take place in and around Alice’s home, so finding the right space was key. “It needed to be a place you wanted to spend time in,” says Meyers-Shyer. “It had to have a certain magic that draws people in.”
The Brentwood home they found is indeed like another character—interacting with Alice and her daughters, her mother and a trio of young filmmakers who are on the brink of a big break. Its whitewashed walls, lush landscaping and chic, relaxevd decor were cast as thoughtfully as the actors. “I wanted it to be a place you could really only get in L.A.”
Written by KERSTIN CZARRA.