Ever Think About How What Lies Beneath Is the Closest Thing We Have to a Nancy Meyers Horror Movie?


Everything is stupid, and so are we. Welcome to Jezebel’s Stupidest Summer Ever, a season-long celebration of our worst, most idiotic thoughts and opinions.

Here are some things you’ll probably find in Nancy Meyers movies, which I love:

  • Women clinking their glasses of Pinot Grigio together and laughing
  • Insanely spacious, envy-inducing properties situated next to views of the ocean/lake/sprawling countryside
  • Vanilla candles placed in oversized bell jars
  • Attractive, wealthy white people, falling over themselves over heartbreak and divorce and workaholism and lavender ice cream and what their bodies look like in the mirror after 50
  • Cashmere

And here are some things you’ll probably find in all the other movies I love that aren’t Nancy Meyers movies:

  • Murder
  • Ghosts
  • Extremely amateur detective work
  • Seances

As you can see, this is extremely difficult for me. Every time I turn on my television, trying to figure out what movie to watch, I’m simply at a loss. Do I watch a graphically violent horror movie or a delightful production written and directed by Nancy Meyers? Tonight, will I see messages written in blood on the walls or Jude Law, unreasonably, maybe even suspiciously, tan for an English winter?

If only there was a way to have both; to swaddle myself in the Pottery Barn porn of a Nancy Meyers movie and also feel terrified for our frazzled, gorgeous white lady heroine, since there’s a goddamn ghost living in her house. And then I realized: What Lies Beneath, the 2000 horror film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, is the closest thing we have to a horror movie that takes place in the Nancy Meyers universe.

Pfeiffer plays Claire, a retired cellist married to Norman (Ford), who has decided to focus on her gardening now that her daughter has just gone away at college.

The house, a pristine mansion situated by the water in picturesque Vermont, decorated entirely in shades of cream and beige, is now an empty nest. Gorgeous… almost like a Nancy Meyers set. Except haunted AF.

In between taking long ass baths in her pristine clawfoot tub and playing solitaire on her computer in a glamorous white silk bathrobe…

…Plus drinking wine with her quirky side-kick, Jody…

…Claire is trying to grow closer to her husband by eating tense dinners and going on casual boat rides.

Except Claire realizes after a lot of flashing lights and slamming doors that there’s an intruder in the house.

And spoiler, this time it’s NOT hot doctor Keanu Reeves OR hot widower Jude Law OR Lindsay Lohan pretending to be British! Shocking, I know.

It’s a ghost. An extremely helpful ghost that leads Claire to find out her husband cheated on her.

Oh, and, through some weird, wild, unexplainable string of events, Claire somehow becomes her husband’s mistress???

It’s complicated!

Anyway, the ghost whispers *duuuUUUuuuUUUmp hIIiiiIIIIm* (not really, just my translation) in Claire’s ear and then a whole bunch of other stuff happens and (SPOILERS FOR A MOVE OVER A DECADE OLD) she ends up “breaking up” with her husband by leaving him to drown in the lake with the ghost mistress. Girl power!

If, like me, you want the comfy aspirational, New England aesthetic and warmth of a Nancy Meyers film with just 100 percent more murderous husbands, What Lies Beneath is there for you.

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