What Happened to Diane Keaton?

by Melissa Silverstein on September 25, 2008

in Actresses

Somebody please tell me WTF happened to Diane Keaton? She is one of the leading older working actresses. She was awesome in her oscar nominated performance in Something’s Gotta Give. (always watchable film even on basic cable with commercials) which was supposed to revitalize her career? I did like her a couple of years ago as the mom in The Family Stone, but lately she has been playing crazy, overbearing, stalker moms, which I find so sad.

Her first stalker mom was in the much maligned Because I Said So, and Mama’s Boy (which co-starred Jon Heder as her slacker son who likes living with mom) didn’t even make it to the theatres here in the US. Now this week comes Smother (which did not screen widely — never a good sign) where she plays a mother who moves in with her son and pressures him to have a baby. The title just makes me want to run for the hills.

Can someone please give this woman a good script? Meryl Streep can’t do them all, and if she can we are in a more sorry state than I ever could have imagined.

photo credit: David Grabber/PR photos


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Deaf Brown Trash Punk September 25, 2008 at 9:38 AM

she’s an aging actress and Hollywood hates aging actresses. That’s what happened to our beloved Diane Keaton.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk September 25, 2008 at 9:43 AM

yeah, it’s sad, isn’t it? Notice all the popular older actresses in LaLa Land are British (Helen Mirren, Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, etc) and there’s not so much reverence for older American actresses. weird, huh?

Hara September 25, 2008 at 10:07 AM

While we’re at it-
where are the characters that are working class, divorced, struggling to raise their kids without help from the dead beat dad?
Why do they have to be single fathers or widows or ridiculously over privileged white women complaining about their almost perfect lives? It’s the almost that is supposed to be so interesting- pullease.

And when did NY become so white?
Can someone please kidnap Candace Bushnell and show her the POC of NY?
How the eff does someone live and work in NY and only have WHITE friends?
Makes me think she must be racist, cause you’d have to consciously avoid us to not have us in your life- other than as servers and mistresses and criminals.

Give me One Day at a Time and Kate and Alie
throw in a story that represents all those grandparents raising their grandkids.
Doesn’t that make good TV?

OK- rant over.

ByJane September 25, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Maybe she’s having the film career she wants. Maybe she’s got lots of other arenas to focus on that interest her more (architecture, photography, antiques, her kids). Maybe she likes her life and likes the money and likes the doing of the films but doesn’t feel some social responsibility to Do Good Work. Or maybe the films she does start off to be worthwhile scripts but end up in the pits after being run through the Hollywood sausage mill a couple of times.

T September 25, 2008 at 11:36 AM

sarc ahead-

Dear byJane,
Let me get this straight.
It isn’t that good scripts by women aren’t being represented or offered or backed
or that we have too few women directing-
Nah, sexism doesn’t really exist in the industry!
It’s just that the actresses really don’t care if they good worthwhile roles to play or not.
end sarc
start advice:
Take your head out of the sand or wherever else it is hiding.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk September 25, 2008 at 11:47 AM

T got it right on the money. (is that how the saying goes)

Candace Bushnell, ugh. WTF. NYC has more non-whites than white people combined together.

spielster September 26, 2008 at 8:11 AM

Well if you don't like it now, get ready for this career trajectory when it hits Jennifer Aniston.

Diane Keaton will forever be America's little sweetheart. Much like Meg Ryan, Jennifer Aniston, so on. She is relegated to crazy moms because Studio Heads do not believe men want to boink these ladies later in life – which is why "Somethings Gotta Give" was so interesting.

What we need more than anything is not a bunch of women themed, directed & written movies, but we need GOOD female driven movies.

Kelly Gingery September 26, 2008 at 8:21 AM


I really don’t have much to add other than to say: I really enjoyed reading these comments and the conversation.

I’ve wondered about the wacky roles for Diane Keaton for a while as well.

She is so great, it really is a shame. She can do comedy, drama, slapstick or heartwarming. The pitiful crap she has been relegated to really does say more about the lack of good scripts and roles than it does about her choices….I really think that.

I get the feeling….she wants to work. She’s an artist, why wouldn’t she want to do what she loves?

It is a big issue, that’s why we all read Melissa’s blog and frequently get the urge to break rank and rant.

Keep it up y’all…..they are listening. I do think that. Now, all we need is action.

More female writers, directors, producers, etc. Get ’em while they’re young. I’m workin’ on my 15-year-old daughter — sowing the seed, so to speak.

Hmmm…wonder how many “stage mothers” there are out there….pushing their daughters to be writer/directors?



T / Hara September 26, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Kelley Gingerly,
Can you please be my stage Director, Writer, Producer mom?

I am at a low right now and could use the boost. I’m so tired of the most sexist industry I’ve ever worked in. So tired of doing work that men get credit for, training men to do their jobs and not getting that job myself in the first place. I’m so tired of being a woman in the boys club.

Deaf Brown Trash Punk September 28, 2008 at 11:50 AM

t/hara, please don’t give up. I’m also fighting against the boys club and I ain’t gonna stop ’til I get my break.

Kelly Gingery September 29, 2008 at 5:31 AM


I wholeheartedly agree with deaf brown trash punk:
please, please don’t give up!

We desperately need your voice and vision, you DO make a difference….chipping away at the status quo — even if at times it feels futile.

(I do wish I could help your feelings of frustration by being your stage director, writer, producer mom. I would be thrilled, I’ve been to your blog and have read your writing. I enjoyed it very, very much!)


Please continue your efforts and your art. I have faith that change will come, women’s stories and visions will be celebrated and appreciated.

Patience is important, but other things like determination, instigation and support are key as well.

I truly love reading these comments and what all of you have to say, and then I follow your links to your individual writings and get inspired.

Let’s all be each others’ stage mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

I know that I’m beginning to feel that way already.

Ladies, thanks for that!


NoƩ June 3, 2009 at 3:24 PM

That the best actress (ya meryl streep ok) but diane keaton where are you ?? The little sweetheart of america !(L)

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