Something’s Gotta Give

Review No. 502

Some version of the truth: It left me smiling.  There’s more.

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B-PLUS

WRITTEN, PRODUCED & DIRECTED BY NANCY MEYERS. STARRING JACK NICHOLSON (HARRY SANBORN), DIANE KEATON (ERICA BARRY), KEANU REEVES (JULIAN MERCER), FRANCES McDORMAND (ZOE), AMANDA PEET (MARIN KLEIN), AND JON FAVREAU (LEO). ALSO STARRING PAUL MICHAEL GLASER, RACHEL TICOTIN, AND KaDEE STRICKLAND. DISTRIBUTED BY COLUMBIA PICTURES ON DECEMBER 12, 2003. PRODUCED IN ENGLISH BY THE UNITED STATES. RUNS 2 HOURS, 8 MINUTES. INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES, DUE TO BRIEF NUDITY AND SEXUAL SITUATIONS.

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE WAS WATCHED ON JUNE 13, 2013.

“I have never lied to you, I have always told you some version of the truth.” –Harry (Jack Nicholson)

Something’s Gotta Give is just like a Hallmark holiday. Although it is, essentially, just another one of its kind, there’s an “extra something” here that makes it feel more special than it is. You also love it or hate it, and you’ll know whether you love it or hate it before you start watching. Better yet, that’s the end of the movie’s predictability.

Our story is typical but handled marvelously. Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a sixty-three-year-old business mogul, and for forty years, he’s always gone from woman to woman, each one under the age of thirty. In two words, he’s Hugh Hefner. One summer, he’s staying for the weekend at his current girlfriend’s (Amanda Peet*) place…and meets her mother, the recently divorced fifty-six-year-old Erica (Diane Keaton). He begins to realize that of all the women he’s met, she’s a little different, and he tells her on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, she’s writing a comedic play about her life as it happens; he’s a main feature.

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What if I told you they hated each other in “Reds”?

Nancy Meyers has, ultimately, done something that hasn’t been done since When Harry Met Sally. She’s taken the romance genre to a great height, while keeping the general formula. Yes, as in her screenplay is strong by means of witty dialogue, and a need for reality that’s there, but not overt. Not much else to it. What brings the movie to such heights is that her casting choices are pitch-perfect; under her direction, the players soar. Of course Jack Nicholson is great here. His characteristic shark smile and youthful charm fit his role like no other actor. But even he isn’t the best player here (no pun intended). Diane Keaton’s delivery, if there’s any way to describe it, is impeccable.

Although Something’s Gotta Give is far from perfect, it’s perfectly entertaining and perfectly charming. What more can I say? By the 21st century’s standards, it’s the perfect romcom, or close to it.

* Amanda Peet happened to be 32 in real life when she was in Something’s Gotta Give. I just hope Jack didn’t discover her age too early!

STAY TUNED FOR MY “NORTH” REVIEW @ 4:30

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