Surprisingly enough, this one's a winner. While the story may not be the most original of all -- serial dater finds the perfect woman as a headstrong woman close to his age but loses her to his dating habits, then realizes he really does care for her after all -- is really a variation of boy-meets girl, loses girl, regains girl: with the exception that this time around, the boy is Jack Nicholson, the girl is Diane Keaton, and neither are under 55.
To do a movie that has these two exceptionally mannered (but no less veteran) actors play parts that could have easily veered off into caricatures is a hard trick to pull off and thankfully the script (and their acting) is always on target to make us never forget these are real people and not their public persona. Nicholson especially has the harder part here -- his role is so close to life he could have sleepwalked through it -- but he brings a genuine humanity to what is initially a sitcom-like old lecher who can't date women older than 25. Keaton also has a difficult role because she's been known to play variations of Annie Hall, but here she lays herself bare (in more ways than one). To see her interact with Nicholson and see them play out their initial dislike, their cautious flirtation which becomes actual attraction, and see what happens to both of them once Nicholson chickens out to go back to philandering is what romantic comedies are made of. It's a great set-up, even when the pay off is a little too pat for comfort at times and seems somewhat manipulative. There were moments when I wondered what kind of a story SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE would have been had it decided on bringing Keanu Reeve's character into the front and having him being her choice, but this being a conventional script, it of course decides to have Nicholson win her back in the most traditional of ways with nary a conflict, but this doesn't detract much from the film as much as tell a good chick-flick with an emotional center.
Some nice supporting roles here: Reeves plays a character totally different from his MATRIX or CONSTANTINE roles, Rachel Ticotin holds her own as the doctor whom Nicholson keeps bumping into every time his heart goes bonkers, and Amanda Peet continues to prove herself as the rising star she is becoming. Frances McDormand has fun with a small part as Keaton's sister.
As a note: for a movie set in the Hampton's, NY, those were some pretty interesting looking palm trees.