nancy meyers week

Let Nancy Meyers Inspire You to Self-Quarantine

Me writing this piece. Photo: Alamy Stock Photo

This story originally ran in March but still feels extremely relevant to our pandemic reality nine months later.

Nancy Meyers’ film oeuvre has already taught us so much. For instance, we may have an identical twin living in another country, and that’s why we need to go to summer camp. It’s okay to have a secret affair with your ex-husband, as long as you end it in a reasonable timeframe and remodel your house. It is possible to have a tan in rural wintertime England. When life hands you your dead friends’ baby, make gourmet baby food. But I believe that, in these uncertain times, Nancy Meyers has one more important lesson to impart unto us: We should all stay the fuck home for a minute.

Nancy Meyers has long celebrated the notion of Being Home, of wrapping yourself in some sort of chemise, sitting on a soft piece of furniture, and drinking a goblet of white wine — often alone, sometimes crying, sometimes just chilling extremely hard. That’s basically the thesis undergirding all of her work. Now that we are being encouraged by pandemic experts around the globe to socially distance to avoid millions of preventable coronavirus-related deaths, Nancy Meyers’ filmic philosophy should resonate more than ever before. If you are physically unable to avoid going to public places because you’re on the front lines of this global crisis, we are eternally grateful to you and suggest you relieve your paralyzing stress by watching It’s Complicated several times in a row when you do get home. But if you can stay home, the only ethically responsible thing to do right now is to cancel all of your plans that involve gathering in groups in a public space, then make some croissant dough, place it on your face, and pretend it is a beard.

Below, I have provided some stunning social-distance-spo from Nancy’s filmography. Please study the captions carefully for more specific bits of wisdom.

Do not forget to bathe. Wear a headband for extra safety. Photo: Simon Mein/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock/Simon Mein/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock
Cook for yourself in your pajamas while staring upwards as if lost in thought (maybe you are actually lost in thought — good). Photo: Universal Pictures
Have a few friends over for dinner after everybody takes their temperature and laugh about the chaotic meaninglessness of the human condition. (However, do not invite Rita Wilson over because she has the virus; just send her well wishes.) Photo: Universal Pictures
Work from bed! If you want to wear jeans I won’t stop you, but I don’t support it structurally and I don’t support it spiritually. Photo: Universal Pictures
Open your fridge and look at it, then turn around and say, “We are okay!”
Drink some wine in your bathrobe in the morning! This is your life, fuck the haters! Photo: 20th Century Fox
This is a trick one. It’s what you should not do. Do not have big parties and kiss people at them.
Peanut butter is great to eat when you are quarantined, whether by yourself or with your twin because you got into a prank war that ended in sororal violence. Photo: ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection/©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection
It’s okay to cry while you do your job on the internet. Photo: Columbia Pictures
What it looks like to your roommate when you do your internet job while crying. Photo: Columbia Pictures
Citrus is important for immunity. Try pigtail braids, they are very low-risk right now. Photo: Disney
Check in on your elderly neighbors, maybe just through the door in case of exposure. If you have to touch their walkers, use your foot! Photo: Sony Pictures
Walk around your kitchen looking smug. Photo: Columbia Pictures

I’d also suggest watching these actual films as a warm, almost sedative brain bath. A key to the photos above to help you figure out which one to start with: It’s Complicated, The Holiday, It’s Complicated x 3, Baby Boom, It’s Complicated, The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give x 2, The Parent Trap, The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give.

Let Nancy Meyers Inspire You to Self-Quarantine