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Something's Gotta Give.....Jack and Diane Sizzle on the Big Screen!

  • Sep 6, 2009
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Something's Gotta Give, starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton is deep, soulful and inspirational, stirring an array of emotions that makes the audience both laugh and cry.  Careful consideration is given to the dialogue, written and executed by Hollywood luminary Nancy Meyers.   Meyers, who is also producer and director has a keen observation of human behavior which is part of her outstanding success as a screenwriter.  In addition to Something's Gotta Give, she has written some of the more important films and sitcoms of pop culture including, What Women Want, The Parent Trap, Private Benjamin, Irreconcilable Differences, Baby Boom, The Odd Couple and All in the Family.  Something's Gotta Give was a smash at the box office in 2004, garnering cricial acclaim for Meyers and a Golden Globe Award for veteran actress Diane Keaton.

Although billed as a romantic comedy, Something's Gotta Give is multi leveled, addressing serious themes such as relationships between older women and younger men, the pain inflicted by physical intimacy without committment, the fear of aging and the fact that older people can and do fall in love.  Harry Sanborn (NIcholson,) a perennial playboy with a libido much younger than his 63 years arrives for a weekend in the Hamptons with Marin, (Amanda Peet) a woman young enough to be his daughter.  Marin's mother (Diane Keaton,) a well-known playwright who owns the palatial pad also arrives with her sister Zoe, (Francis McDormand) to work on her latest Broadway show.  What starts out as a lovely weekend on a moonlit night turns to chaos when Harry and Erica immediately clash over Harry's remarks about older women.  

As Harry and Marin become intimate, Harry develops chest pains and goes into cardiac arrest.  Erica quickly administers CPR as Harry is rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital.  Dr. Julian Mercer, (keanu Reeves) tells Harry that he's had a heart attack and is much too weak to return to New York.  Harry ends up back at the beach house where Erica plays nursemaid to a guy she hardly knows and can barely stand.  During Harry's rehabilitation, the two discover they have much in common as Harry finds the impervious Erica irresistible and Erica detects a soulfulness in Harry that rattles her psyche to the bone.  Enter the young doctor and you've got the perfect love triangle, complete with all the twists and turns synonomous with a romantic comedy.

The cast is star studded, featuring Diane Keaton who brilliantly portrays a woman scored to the hilt (I believe she's outdone herself in this film,) exposing every human emotion, incuding a wild crying jag that turns into a laughing spree, proving her wide range and agility as one of today's most engaging and sought-after actresses.  Adding to the aesthetics of the film is natural beauty Amanda Peet, whose characterization of a hip New Yorker is close to perfect-from her chic wardrobe to her pop culture jargon.  

Keanu Reeves on the other hand is his usual deadpan self- showing little or no emotion in all the pivotal scenes- but he too shines as I think a little bit of the stars' genius spurs him on. 
  Academy-Award winner Francis McDormand's performance is limited and that's unfortunate, because its expansion would have added a bit to the film's profoundness.  Jon Favreau has a small role as Harry's assistant which he plays up marvelously, and Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky and Hutch) is excellent in his depiction of the free-wheeling David, ex-hubby of Erica who he is still involved with professionally. 

Jack Nicholson is smooth as silk, using all of his gifts- the famous eyes, his resonant voice and  signature laugh to woo a bevy of on screen beauties, proving he's still a player and one of the major movie stars of our time.   Critcs have often panned Jack, saying he's just portraying himself, but all of his roles are very different  (About Schmidt, The Shining,) and I've always found Jack's performances to be heartfelt never phony.  
The physical and emotional interactions between Erica and Harry are just part of the many components that makes this film so spectacular; especially hilarious is the bedroom romp where the two stars make work look like play and that's what makes it so much fun.  It's easy to see why couples of all ages are able to relate, as the anticipation and awkwardness associated with the consummation of a new relationship is a universal theme. 

Something's Gotta Give will make you into a believer- a belief that that older adults, long past the prime of life are still sensual beings with emotional and sexual feelings towards the opposite sex.  When Harry confesses to Erica  "I'm 63 years old and I finally get what it's all about- I'm in love for the first time in my life," it made me into a believer too, that love is not only for the young, but also for the young at heart.   Highly recommended. 

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January 24, 2010
I have seen many movies and would you believe I haven't seen this yet? Thanks for the review, Donna. I like Nicholson and I like Keaton so I have to make time for this. Thanks!
November 06, 2009
Erica is Marin's mother, I presume :-) Well, I'm not a fan of Jack Nicholson but with Keanu Reeves around, I guess I could take a look at this movie ;-) To only fall in love at 63, OMG, he wasted 60 years of his life! How come you don't believe older people can fall in love and have sexual feelings? I'm curious :-) I had fun watching movies like What Women Want & Irreconcilable Differences. This one sounds good as well, if not hilarious. Will check out for the DVD & see if I can find it here in China.
November 06, 2009
Hi Sharrie....I didn't mean to indicate that I don't believe older people fall in love or sexual feelings....of course they do......watching this film only reinforced what I already knew, but in America falling in love is often synonomous with youth....that's what this movie is all about.....that a person at 60 can have love and sexual feelings too. It almost sounds ridiculous and archaic to think that they can't, but here in the states people treat you differently when you're older. I'm not that old and haven't experienced it all that much, but I know people who are over 60 that are often ignored. Anyway, I could go on about that, but it really is a delightful film-as I say so soulful...makes one think. My understanding is that it is semi-autobiographical, based on the life of the director, Nancy Meyers, who is quite prominent here. All the dialogue is revelant and well-thought out. Do see if you can rent it and let me know what you think.
September 12, 2009
Terrific review about a film I was not familiar with. While I was never a big fan of Jack Nicholson I always enjoyed Diane Keatons work particularly in the early Woody Allen films. Thanks for the heads up!
September 06, 2009
What a well-written review! I haven't seen this movie yet, but it definitely sounds like one I'd like.
More Something's Gotta Give reviews
Quick Tip by . August 23, 2009
Something's Gotta Give- stellar performances by Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton- adult, mature theme. Makes you fall in love again!
About the reviewer
Donna Linn ()
Ranked #256
Donna Linn, M.A.T.      Donna Linn has had a distinguished and multifaceted career in communications, entertainment   and education. A prolific writer and interviewer, Linn … more
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