Sunday, April 1, 2012

Something’s Gotta Give (2003) [PG-13] ****

Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a 63-year-old music industry producer who only dates women under thirty. One of his current girlfriends is Marin Barry (Amanda Peet) who’s a fine art auctioneer in New York. Marin takes Harry to the family beach house in the Hamptons for the weekend, but her mother Erica (Diane Keaton) and her aunt Zoe (Frances McDormand) show up unexpectedly. Erica is a famous playwright who’s been divorced from her husband for twenty years and is a workaholic with no romance in her life at all.

Later that afternoon, as Harry and Marin are engaged in foreplay, Harry has a heart attack. At the local hospital, Dr. Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves), the ER physician, turns out to be a huge fan of Erica’s. Since Harry can’t travel, Erica agrees that he can convalesce at her home, and after he fires his nurse, Erica finds herself taking care of him. Julian has a love-at-first-sight experience with Erica, although he’s twenty years younger than she is, while Erica and Harry are, surprisingly, falling in love with each other.

Something’s Gotta Give was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who’s written thirteen films including Baby Boom, Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, The Holiday and It’s Complicated, and directed six films, all romantic comedies, including The Parent Trap, What Women Want, The Holiday and It’s Complicated. Meyers is known for her gorgeous costumes and sets (one critic unkindly referred to her films as interior design porn) and for her lack of attention to character development and drama depth. While Meyers is great at introducing the characters and setting up the tension in the first act, she often gets bogged down in detail, and doesn't move rapidly enough with her story. The result is that, by the third act, the energy and focus falter, she has difficulty cleanly wrapping up her story, and her endings are typically awkward and talky.

While Nicholson, Keaton, Peet and Reeves are all accomplished actors, casting Jack Nicholson as Diane Keaton’s love interest was a mistake. Born in 1937, Nicholson was 66, nine years older than Keaton, who was born in 1946 and looks remarkably well preserved for 57. Pairing Keaton with someone a bit younger and more attractive would have been so much more appealing. Regardless, if you enjoy Nancy Meyers’ style of light, breezy romantic comedy, you will likely enjoy Something’s Gotta Give.

Labels: comedy, romance
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 66/100
Tomatometer (critics=71, viewers=69)

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