"Genius is a word that’s thrown around a lot, but I think whatever it means, if Elaine May is not a brilliant improviser, nobody is. If Elaine May is not a brilliant actress, nobody is. If she’s not a brilliant writer, nobody is. If she’s not a brilliant director, nobody is. So whatever that word means, you can apply it to her in four different categories at least, and probably more."
On Elaine May’s discarded women in A New Leaf and The Waverly Gallery.
In The Birdcage, jokes aren't simply clever bits of wordplay, but rather a continual give and take. This is the May touch—no one ever fully wins an argument; instead, it’s a constant battle for the last word.
From the moment that Ishtar—a big budget comedy combining the talents of Elaine May, Warren Beatty, and Dustin Hoffman—was announced, its legend has loomed large.
Mikey and Nicky is not the story of two men attempting to escape the mob, nor two men reckoning with themselves—it's the story of two boys wholly unequipped to mediate the complex emotions and responsibilities of male adulthood.
What does it mean to look at women through the eyes of a male protagonist in the three films Elaine May directed in the '70s?
I love difficult women. I like ladies who talk back with abandon, the ones who don’t give in without a fight, the headstrong, selfish broads with hearts of gold.