Something's Gotta Give (2003) Poster

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Keaton and Nicholson. Finally!
nycritic12 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Hollywood has never been very kind to aging couples. If you count a ratio of the movies that have been made with actors in their prime and put them side by side with movies where the same actors are reaching 50, 60, or even 70, you'd be hard-pressed to find more than a smattering over a decade's time. And to sell a romantic comedy above all to a youth-obsessed public wanting to see the inevitable tight curves on the female lead's body and the rippled muscles on the male's, where instead there are none, is a gamble that would surely signal a train wreck by default.

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.
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a romantic comedy for grownups
Roland E. Zwick26 July 2004
Diane Keaton gives the performance of her career in 'Something's Gotta Give,' writer/director Nancy Meyers' smart and savvy take on middle-age romance. Keaton plays Erica Barry, a 50-something playwright living on her own in a swanky beach house in the Hamptons. Although she has achieved enormous success in her career, her personal life leaves much to be desired.

Erica, though brilliant and attractive, has pretty much shut herself off from the dating scene since her divorce a number of years ago. Erica's life runs like a well-oiled machine, with each element – both personal and professional - fitted neatly into place, with no room left over for spontaneity or passion. One fateful day, Erica stumbles upon a strange man rummaging through her refrigerator, a 63 year-old professional bachelor named Harry Sanborn who, Erica discovers to her horror, is dating her 30 year-old daughter, Marin (Harry is, actually, a notorious bachelor, having been profiled as such in a number of tony New York magazines). Even though Erica is disgusted by the situation, she is forced to take care of Harry after he suffers a heart attack while staying at her place. Despite their diametrically opposed outlooks on love and romance, Erica and Harry spend quality time together, discover their ultimate compatibility, and eventually fall in love.

Meyers has written a witty, sophisticated screenplay that offers insights into any number of 'battle of the sexes' issues. She has outrageous fun exploring the phenomenon of middle-aged men cavorting with women half their age. Jack Nicholson, known in real life for doing just that, has a great time poking fun at his own public image while, at the same time, providing a richly textured portrait of a man who may not be quite as shallow as his persona would suggest. When he so unexpectedly finds his head turned by a vibrant, attractive and intelligent woman in her 50's, Harry, a middle-aged Lothario who finds he needs Viagra to help him keep pace with his youthful 'conquests,' is forced to re-evaluate what has hitherto been the defining philosophy of his personality and lifestyle. Nicholson is magnificent at showing us the profound confusion his character undergoes as he takes those much belated but faltering steps into adult maturity.

Nicholson is, however, only one half of this extraordinary couple. As the other half, Keaton, having been handed what is clearly the role of a lifetime, has never seemed so natural and self-assured on screen. She makes of the character a capable, no-nonsense woman who has allowed her passions to lie dormant far too long. Though, on the surface, she appears confident and in control of her life, Erica is, underneath it all, a woman wounded by past experience and intimidated by a culture that expects women to be put out to pasture the moment they reach middle age. It is this combination of strength and vulnerability that makes Erica such a complex, recognizable individual – and it is the very quality that Keaton captures so exquisitely in her performance. The chemistry generated between Keaton and Nicholson in this film is so glowing and palpable one wonders why no filmmaker ever saw the potential of this dynamic duo until now.

In addition to these two outstanding performers, the film boasts excellent supporting work from Frances McDormand as Erica's pragmatic, clear-headed sister; Amanda Peet as Erica's level-headed daughter; and Keanu Reeves as Harry's handsome young doctor who finds himself smitten by Erica's mature beauty and charm.

'Something's Gotta Give' is that rare romantic comedy that not only acknowledges the romantic inclinations of people over forty, but also recognizes the emotional complexities of their relationships. Because both Erica and Harry have been around the block a few times, they bring a lifetime of baggage to their burgeoning attachment. Thus, unlike in the vast majority of romantic comedies, which are clearly geared to the younger generation, the lovers here have a depth not often encountered when the focus is on two inexperienced neophytes. It takes the experience that comes from living to make a person interesting, after all.

Thanks to the quality of the writing and the performances, 'Something's Gotta Give' takes its place among the great romantic comedy/dramas like 'Two For the Road,' 'Annie Hall,' 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'The American President.' That's mighty august company indeed.
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Much better than I expected!
JR0113 December 2003
I kept thinking, while watching this movie, "I wish I could write a screenplay as good as this." Jack was Impeccable Jack. Diane was delightful and sexy and a wonderful role model for older women. Keanu showed more range than people give him credit for, and did an excellent job playing the role he was cast as - a supporting character, who is not supposed to outshine the lead roles, but rather enhance them (which he did). I was very pleased with this movie! It did have "several endings" which, actually, didn't detract but instead made me think, "Well, that's closer to the reality of what might happen," instead of being annoyed. As Jack's character says, "Finally, closure," and I was happy. It was a good movie and I liked it quite a lot. It'll be on my mind and in my thoughts for a while, which is the sign of an impactful movie.
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pri_e8 January 2004
This movie took me by surprise, I wasn't sure if I could handle watching old actors getting it on but this movie turned out to be a great romantic comedy. Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton always give their 100% best in their performances, they did a great job in their roles. It would have been nice to see more input from Frances McDormand and Keanu Reeves, but otherwise I really enjoyed the movie.
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Nancy Meyers uses her writing and directing skills to make an excellent film
clydestuff29 December 2003
Of the many things I like about going to the movies there are two experiences that always stand out more than others. The first is going to see a film that you have so-so expectations for and finding out that it is not only better than expected, but very good indeed. The second is going to see a film you have high expectations for and not being disappointed. Something's Gotta Give falls squarely into the second category.

Sometimes when legendary stars are teamed up in a film, the result is often less than passable. Not so with this film, thanks to a sharp-witted script and direction by Nancy Meyers, two great stars in Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson who click wonderfully together on screen and an excellent supporting cast that includes Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet and Frances McDormand. This is a romantic comedy that is funny when it's meant to be, insightful when it needs to be, and filled with many sincere and touching moments.

Harry Sanborn (Nicholson), the over-age playboy who has spent his entire life avoiding serious commitments, is set to spend the weekend with his flavor of the moment girlfriend, Marin(Amanda Peet), at a beach house owned by Marin's mother. Unfortunately for Harry and Marin, Marin's mother Erica Barry(Diane Keaton), who is a famous playwright, shows up for the weekend also with her sister Zoe(Frances McDormand). Of course Erica doesn't quite know how to deal with the fact that her daughter is dating and possibly sleeping with a man of Harry's reputation and age leading to some very funny dialog between Harry, Erica and Zoe that rings mounds of truth. It's these early scenes in the film that sets the pace, grabs your attention, then never lets you go. Later, when beginning to get it on with Marin, Harry suffers a heart attack. Now I know having a heart attack is not supposed to be particularly funny, but in this case it's some of the many many hilarious scenes that rock throughout Something's Gotta Give. When Harry is taken to the hospital, we meet Dr. Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves), who happens to be a great admire of Erica's plays and quickly develops a crush on her. Of course, plot manipulations being what they are, Harry ends up recuperating alone in Erica's beach house. Everything that happens from that point on speaks volumes about love, aging, and especially how men and women are viewed differently as they grow older.

I can't say enough here about Diane Keaton's performance in this film. For all the dramatic roles she has played, she once again proves how truly versatile she is with this very touching yet truly comedic role. Jack Nicholson as Harry Sanborn, is equally perfect also. He manages to take a character that we should absolutely loathe for his shallow behavior and make him not only likable but gives him depth as well. It is perhaps his best comedic role ever. Keanu Reeves in a less flashy role, shines as the young Doctor. We believe in his sincere admiration for Erica and he manages to pull it off by making us believe this is not just a school boy type crush. For some brief but very funny moments, Frances McDormand deserves our praise also.

Nancy Meyers has shown great promise as a director with the OK efforts of The Parent Trap and What Women Want. As a writer she has had some fine moments with Irreconcilable Differences, Baby Boom and Father of the Bride. With Something's Gotta Give, she puts the pieces of the puzzle together for some first class entertainment. You won't be disappointed.

My Grade: A+
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Kids! Love nicely!
Romance among the AARP set in a movie is never an easy proposition, pardon the pun. The participants have to be sexy enough that the younger people in the audience don't get all grossed out ("Gramma and Granpa are KISSING!!! With tongue!!!!"), but not too sexy. The audience wants to be swept off its feet, but it doesn't want anything that's overly salacious.

For the most part, writer-director Nancy Meyers succeeds here. Diane Keaton plays Erica Barry, a neurotic, highly successful playwright. Jack Nicholson plays himself. Okay, technically he plays 63-year-old Harry Sanborn, owner of a hip-hop record label and chronic womanizer.

One of the funniest scenes in the movie comes right near the beginning. Harry's with his new squeeze Marin (Amanda Peet), at Marin's mom's house. There's Harry, in his boxers and a t-shirt, putting wine in the 'fridge, when Marin's mom - you guessed it, Erica - unexpectedly comes home. Naturally, she thinks he's an intruder and calls 911. I mean, wouldn't you? It takes some explaining, but soon the misunderstanding is cleared up and our combatants (oops, participants) can get on with the romancin'.

The thrust of the story (oops, another pun) is that while fooling around with Marin upstairs, Harry suffers a heart attack. At the hospital, Dr. Mercer (an interestingly cast Keanu Reeves) admonishes the unrepentant Harry for overexerting himself and tells him not to travel for a little while. Yup, you guessed it, that means he has to bunk with Erica. And our romance is thus set up.

The good news is that pairing Keaton and Nicholson (who appeared together in 1982's Reds) was a great, great idea. Keaton basically plays a grown-up Annie Hall, and she manages to look sexy and daffy at the same time. Nicholson, for all his bluster and creakiness, still has the panache that has served him so well for the past forty years or so.

The trouble is that after their relationship is consummated, the two leads behave like seventh graders. Now, no offense to you seventh graders out there, but you do have a tendency to get melodramatic. Admit it. In this movie, Erica spends - no exaggeration here - a good ten minutes sobbing. And sobbing. And sobbing. Everywhere and anywhere. Yikes and double yikes. For his part, Harry broods like no one's ever brooded before, like he's up for an Olympic medal in the event of Feeling Bummed Out. After a while, you wish these two crazy kids would just get over it. Call her! Call him! Do something!

To make matters worse for the relationship, Erica writes a play based on her experiences with Harry, complete with him dancing drunkenly in a hospital gown. Does this lady play hardball, or what?

Granted, the storyline is predictable, but the two leads are wonderful, and very well cast. Meyers wrote the script with Keaton and Nicholson in mind specifically, the decision was a wise one.

Something's Gotta Give has a funny beginning and a sweet ending, but the middle suffers from an unfortunate lag.
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To my surprise, I liked this movie
maryk-65 June 2004
I generally dislike Jack Nicholson, although I certainly think he is a very talented and gifted actor... so I watched this movie somewhat reluctantly on the recommendation of a friend. To my surprise, I liked it. I too am a woman "of a certain age" and I found myself responding to this movie very much in the context of a woman Diane Keaton's age. I laughed to tears over her creativity surge-- she very accurately portrayed that kind of grief over a relationship lost... amazing! I must say however, that if I were in a position to choose between Keannu Reeves and Jack Nicholson.. well there's no decision to make--the young stud muffin would win in a heartbeat!...(although Jack really was quite charming once he got over being such a putz).. Anyway.. a fun movie that is well done...
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Love Is in the Air......I Think That's Love Anyway.
tfrizzell4 February 2004
The teaming of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton in Warren Beatty's "Reds" back in 1981 was only given a minute glimpse. The glimpse though turned out to be some of the best parts of a very excellent movie. A film with these two living legends was destined for greatness and that prediction comes to reality in writer/director Nancy Meyers' "Something's Gotta Give". Nicholson is a brash and sometimes quietly obnoxious success from New York who has made a life out of chasing 20- and 30-something year-old girls. He and his newest girlfriend (Amanda Peet) get along really well. They decide to go out to Peet's mother's (Keaton) beach-house outside of the city to consummate their relationship. Of course just as everything looks perfect, Keaton (a noted playwright) and younger sister Frances McDormand (in another wonderful turn) barge in and spoil the fun. All seem a little uncomfortable and you can cut the tension between Nicholson and Keaton with a knife. Before you know it, Nicholson suffers a heart attack and all hell breaks loose. He is rushed to the doctor in the nick of time, but now Keaton has to nurse him back to health at her home. Nicholson's doctor (a good performance by Keanu Reeves, getting away from his stupid "Matrix" films) soon falls in love with Keaton who is totally oblivious to his feelings. And before you know it Keaton's warmth, smile, personality, heart and intelligence eventually wins Nicholson over as well. But you all know about Nicholson's relationships with women (in real life and the movies). Is he ready to fall in love for the first time in his life and make a true commitment? Or will his antics end up making matters worse for all involved (Keaton in particular, who becomes someone you don't want to see get hurt)? "Something's Gotta Give" is a film I really liked a lot. The old-time Hollywood style of the 1940s is very prevalent here in a 2000s package. Nicholson and Keaton, what can you say? They are arguably the two finest performers living today and they do end up feeding off each other's astronomical talents throughout. Sometimes something eventually gives in Hollywood these days, but I am happy to say that it never happens with this product. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Not very good at all --spoilers within!
slayer-3530 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps it's because I'm not over 40, but I did not enjoy "Something's Gotta Give". I cannot fathom ever, and I mean EVER actually CHOOSING Jack over Keanu. I mean COME ON!!! So besides this movie's wildly ludicrous ending and setting it is also not a comment on what women think or feel, but what men believe they should think and feel. So I guess with that view it's hardly surprising that a lecherous fat old man who had dated her daughter, messed up her house, and insulted her in her own home was Diane Keaton's pick of the heap. I don't know where writer Nancy Meyers gets these ideas. Wouldn't it be nice to see a movie where the women ends up with a young handsome man who treats her well and adores her? I don't see how laughing over being unable to see the time on a wrist watch without your glasses constitutes finding one's soul mate. Was I on crack or was it Keanu's character who had seen all Diane's plays and loved her work? Clearly Diane's work is almost biographical so isn't it actually Keanu who "gets" her? And why is Diane so uncomfortable kissing a man who is 20 years younger than she, but Jack has no problems having sex with a woman 40 years his junior in her mother's home. Anyway, this film is just not what I thought it would be. It had some funny moments sure, but I still left the theater feeling empty. I certainly do not believe it is in any way a good take on romance in old age.
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Dates, Faces
tedg12 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

I admit, I am a sucker for films like this -- films which rely entirely on the smart reading of snappy dialog.

The story -- as most love stories -- is just filler to allow the filmmaker to do something else, usually charm by various shortcuts. Beach, kitchen, bedroom. Here it is filler to allow some very practiced actors to snap and pop to fresh timing.

Comedic timing changes over time. Like music, it depends on expectations based on less clever humor. So Jack today has to calibrate himself differently than even five years ago. To get the same breezy wink today, he has to do something quite different to make it seem the same.

This is hard to test because when you see one of his older movies, what you see is what you remember -- not what is really there. But he his different here. He uses his neck folds as part of his face, one of the few instances I know where the elements of the instrument have actually increased in number.

Watch the way he winks to himself as he talks to Diane on their way back from their first walk. He is talking to her by talking to himself at the same time that he is having another conversation with himself physically. He works harder as he gets older, different than almost any celebrated actor.

There are quite a few jarringly false moves here: Diane's yip when his blood pressure registers good; her cries when writing, the obligatory leave-em-smiling ending. But there are enough well managed moments for me to expect to see much of this subconsciously quoted in future comedies -- especially in the timing.

Check out the syncopation among different parts of Jack's face and the words he speaks. Each of those dozen parts plays a role, each one setting a beat as if each finger in a chord was playing with its relation to others in coming a tiny bit before or after, differently each time. Facial comedy. Nothing like it in the world.

Almost as if to underscore that this is all about faces, there is only one piece of physical humor: when Jack falls off Diane's bed when she returns from her date.


I make a special study of folding in films. A simple fold is when a writer writes about a writer, writing about the story you see. The play within overlaps the movie and in this case outside the movie since we know the director wrote it. Three women writers overlap.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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Annoying, Predictable, Not funny
The EZ Rider1 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I've seen Jack Nicholson about a dozen too many times playing Jack Nicholson, so I stopped going to any movie with Nicholson in them. But friends told me this one is different--it's fresh, it's funny, it's different. Well, it's not. Nicholson is Nicholson, only more so. The other actors are OK, but they get pushed out of Nicholson's huge ego. The story is inane and boring. Some of the scenes involving Nicholson's anatomy are disgusting. The ending is as implausible as it is predictable. Yep, hard to believe you could come up with something both implausible and predictable, but once you buy into the bizarre premise that (spoilers ahead) Amanda Peet is hot for Nicholson's flabby body, and that Diane Keeton would give Nicholson a second thought after Keanu Reeves puts the moves on her, then you'll believe anything. Worse than how Nicholson looks is the utterly despicable and self-centered character he plays. That he winds up with an attractive woman who adores him only goes to show that if you have lots of money you can get whatever you want, even love.
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Just great!
preppy-33 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Marin Barry (Amanda Peet), a 20 something, is dating Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson), a 60 something. While at her mother's beach house with Harry and her mother Erica (Diane Keaton), a 50 something, Harry has a heart attack. He recovers in the hospital under the care of Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves), a 30 something--who is immediately attracted to Erica. Harry wants to leave the hospital--but the doctor will only let him go if he stays a weeks at Erica's beach house. Erica hates Harry, but agrees. Naturally they become attracted to each other...but the doctor is also attracted to Erica. Sometimes hilarious and romantic complications ensue.

Fantastic! A Hollywood movie celebrating middle-aged romance! It was a pleasure seeing Nicholson make fun of his own image with Peet and romancing a woman close to her age. Him and Keaton play off each other wonderfully and there scenes are beautifully romantic and VERY sexy--proving we DON'T need young people always going at it. Also it was very refreshing to see a younger man madly in love with Keaton. The script is sharp and funny and the movie is beautifully filmed.

Nicholson is just great. He tones down his mannerisms and plays the role quietly and intelligently. Keaton is superb (she HAS to get an Oscar nomination for this!). She looks great--lines and all--her comic timing is (as always) perfect and she's so radiant and full of life--Reeves attraction makes sense! Reeves is his usual blank self (no expression, no acting) but he actually comes across as somewhat charming in his scenes with Keaton. Peet is wasted in her small role as is Jon Farveau. But it WAS great to see Rachel Ticotin in her small but fun role as a nurse.

The movie has problems--it's WAY too long (there are at least 5 times I thought it was ending) and I HATED the ending. I won't give it away but Keaton ended up with the wrong guy! It's a quick turn around at the end that I just couldn't swallow. That just stopped me from giving it a 10--I'm giving it a 9.

It's great that this movie is doing so well! A main stream movie dealing with middle-aged romance and showing that it can be as exciting and romantic as with younger people. A must-see!
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If not stunning or brilliant, it's solid and very very feel good. So feel good.
secondtake25 April 2013
Something's Gotta Give (2003)

There are two things recommending this film: Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Alone and together they are funny and alive. You might expect their individual strengths, but they actually have chemistry, or at least rapport, on screen.

The story is fun and funny and heartwarming, and you kind of know what's going to happen much of the time. And you want it to, so you get that confirmation and have fun watching the two be together (or not) as their relationship grows and changes. Director and writer Nancy Meyers is pretty straight forward here--and if she's no Nora Ephron (lacking finesse and wit at that level), she's got the right idea. You can picture a better film, smoother and more cinematic, under a different director (there are some clunky visual decisions if you are looking), but the story keeps it going.

The rest of the cast? Mostly what you'd expect. Keanu Reeves is better than usual, playing an unplayed role nicely, and Frances McDormand is funny but a bit awkward here, as if miscast, or at odds with the director. Amanda Peet as the daughter is cheerful enough but I found her unconvincing in her role scooping up a rap record label womanizer (Nicholson) three times her age.

It's the unlikeliness of the main match-up that makes the movie work, of course, and in a way they dive into their success too easily. (A screwball comedy would have sustained the tension until the last scene, and here they keep it in the air for about five minutes.) Of course, this is a standard romantic comedy, and the romance figures heavily. And there are turns in the feelgood plot that make it rise above. And make it worth watching twice, believe it or not, at least with a few years rest. The performances are what remain sparkling and new.

You might have trouble, as I do every time I see this movie (and it's been a few times for some reason) with the last scene. It's meant to be sudden and dramatic, but the previous scene doesn't quite set things up that way. Sort of, but not quite, and the validity of the change of heart at the end is necessary. But then of course the snow falls and Paris is beautiful and life is beautiful and we all have hope. It's a feel good movie that really works.
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hershykissed2623 May 2004
This movie is funny, cute, light-hearted, serious all rolled into one movie.

Diane gives her all in the movie, she unleashes all the insane things women go through in life. Her story is fascinating. Jack Nicholson is of course his usual "swaggering" self in this movie. He gives us his normal antics throughout the movie. His "heart-attacks" are priceless. You can't help but love him! Keanu, he is incredible in this movie. He is sincere, intelligent and magical. Amanda Peet, is over the top as in most of her roles. Overall this movie was excellent!
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A sad waste of talent
doctorx230 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Few major films have conveyed imagery as frightening as the horror of Diane Keaton going through menopause on screen in Something's Gotta Give, a pathetic fantasy written by and for perimenopausal women. The use of a stellar cast misleads unsuspecting audiences into thinking that they will be entertained, challenged, or enlightened by this film. Unfortunately, the plodding and predictable script leads viewers deeper and deeper into despair, as implausible story lines are played out to their tedious conclusion.

The film does raise some important questions, however. E.g., why would lovely Amanda Peet ever give nasty old Jack Nicholson the time of day? And more to the point, why would Keanu Reeves' character (the young, brilliant and charming doctor) desire carnal contact with moldy old Diane Keaton? Is this some veiled remake of Harold & Maude? Obviously there is an unresolved Oedipal complex in Keanu's character's life (or perhaps in the screenwriter's). For believability, if they wanted a "mature" female lead, go to Diane Lane. She's still got "it," in spades. Perhaps even Annette Benning. Or maybe even Meg Ryan (who should begin to accept the fact that she is beyond ingénue parts). But Diane Keaton frankly looks too old for Keanu Reeves, and the impression is conveyed to the viewer that some kind of Point is being made about women's rights. Why didn't they just use Meryl Streep? At least that would've sent a clear warning out to potential male viewers, fooled by the presence of Jack Nicholson into thinking there was a movie in there somewhere.

At any rate, Keaton is not given much to work with, as the sexually insecure and frustrated donna of this soap opera. She is reduced to looking embarrassed or heart-broken most of the time. Keaton is capable of so much more complexity, going all the way back to Looking for Mr. Goodbar and The Godfather. Nicholson fares little better, and one is never sure whether his character is supposed to be smarmy, nasty, or smarmy and nasty. Amanda Peet's character is a unidimensional débutante, who (being young and attractive, and therefore threatening to the intended audience of menopausal middle-aged women) is reduced to the status of a well-intended know-nothing, the naive daughter who has not lived long enough to have developed a real personality. This is a sad waste of talent, and the interested viewer is encouraged to look at some of Peet's meatier roles, in such films as the obscure Digby Goes Down, or even the ludicrous Saving Silverman.

If something's gotta give, it's this movie -- spend an evening watching something -- anything -- else.
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Disliked and was disgusted.
blindu23 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I was so grossed out that anyone would even consider Jack for this part. To see his butt...barf city. To think Reeves falling for Keaton was as believable as Keaton kissing Jack, much less wanting to have sex with Jack is such a demented case of using names to get people to watch. If this had been a book, well it would gone in the trash as every Harlequin Blaze I've attempted to read has gone.

And to use the daughter as a crutch to bring the mother and man together was so unbelievable -she would not have invited this to the secluded place for a fun time if they weren't already sexually active -this isn't the 50's.

After a night or two in the sack and she sees him out with a girl and confesses her love for him through tears. Right! How desperately pathetic. And then every scene after - she's doing over dramatic fake crying.

And then, she writes the whole ordeal as a play. How tacky, and wrong that is?

The only reason I watched the movie was my husband had it on - he wanted to see it and refused to watch it in another room where I wasn't working.

Thanks for putting another stupid movie out there -- the dollars could have been better spent.

Pearce Brosnan would have been a better choice - even Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford , but then they wouldn't want anything to with a crappy storyline and script.
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How awful was this movie? Read on....
Warning: Spoilers
I ticked 'spoilers' but I think any depiction of a spoiler here would enhance this bomb. I kept waiting for a script to happen and wondered why I was so irritated ALL THE TIME. Diane Keaton ( I honestly can't believe she got a Golden Globe award for her performance) acts as if there is always a third party in the room. She keeps glancing sideways and laughing flirtatiously at NOTHING. Jack just phones his performance in, enough said.....and speaking of laughing, I, for one, hate those scenes where the main characters are on a beach, over dinner, in bed, and they are laughing, laughing, but you the viewer are not privy to the stream of jokes. And believe me there are so much of these giggling no-script scenes as to make you NAUSEOUS. You are on the outside, paying your decent money to be part of the movie/play but you are left guessing as to what is actually being said. RIP-OFF. Seems to me as if the writer just ran out of script. Speaking of which, there is NONE, no script, in this sodden wreck of a film. It is rocking with clichés (the sobbing, crying, has to be the very worst ever captured on film). And what was Keanu Reeves doing in it? Here's a young doctor madly in love with the older woman playwright, has seen all her plays and absolutely worships her, is kind, considerate and fresh (vs jarringly jaded), but the older woman just hankers after moronic old Jack who treats her incredibly badly. And in the end, unbelievably - Keanu, her new fiancé, gives her up without a fight or a word. He is just deleted from the script. I for one would have chosen Keanu any day. Gagometer soaring skywards I find it hard to believe that some of my friends LIKED this. The Hamptons looked lovely, so 2 out of 10 for that, but AVOID this trashcan bomb.
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'Something's' Gotta Go
Conrad_Jarrett15 January 2004
Diane Keaton can't cry. In Something's Gotta Give, there is a period where she has to cry in brief scene after scene, and either she can't cry or the direction was very, very poor (I kind of think it was the latter). For me, her crying symbolizes everything that was bad about this movie. In the crying scenes, she just wails and wails - loudly. After awhile, it is supposed to be somewhat funny (I think), but it's really just kind of annoying. The crying is supposed to convey that she is getting over what is hurting her and channelling it into a more productive activity. But it just feels so disingenuous because of the brazen way it is portrayed. There is a way to get crying to be sad at first and then funny (see Broadcast News), but this ain't it. This crying is more like "Ooh, look. It's Diane Keaton trying to ball her eyes out."

And that's what's wrong with Something's Gotta Give. Most of the scenes feel fake and like obvious attempts to manufacture the emotions that the director/screenwriter is trying to elicit. The very final scene (and I'm not ruining anything here) is the perfect example. It's basically a scene with the main characters looking cute and funny while music plays. Kodak moments to be sure, but they're manufactured Kodak moments.

Additionally, all of the major performances disappointed me. Jack Nicholson's character is barely introduced before he has a heart attack, and the story gets thrown into motion. We're supposed to believe that he's Joe Cool Sr. - hip and attractive to much younger women. We're supposed to believe that not because of how his character is developed, but because...well...because he's Jack Nicholson.

Diane Keaton wasn't particularly disappointing, because I've never been a big fan of hers, anyway. However, her character never seemed to be anchored to any particular way of being. It's the film's version of character development that her character evolves from an uptight recluse to a self-actualized, fully-empowered woman, but to me that transition was just too easy.

Amanda Peet, playing Keaton's daughter, gives a one note performance that, while consistent with the rest of the movie, relies more on her beauty than on substance to get the audience to care about her. She smiles a lot, and is very definitely easy on the eyes, but she's basically another pretty face. In a movie like this, which suggests that Jack dates young women because he sees them as merely pretty faces, it's almost criminal to not prove to the audience that Peet is anything but.

Finally, France McDormand, in a smaller role, seems to exist solely for the purpose of directly verbalizing the movie's thesis at the beginning of the movie. And we're supposed to respect her character's opinion - she's a professor. Her speech is another good example of the way this movie tries to get the message across - by telling the audience what the message is instead of showing it.

Rating: 3/10
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pretentious, self-indulgent mediocrity
laura123425 December 2004
I give this movie one point for not being outright offensive. I give it another point for Frances McDormand--I'm not sure why she chose to be in this movie, but for the little screen time she had, she was good. Everything else about this movie was mediocre. The writer/director, Nancy Meyers, obviously wrote this story about herself, and in this way made her main character a writer who is writing a story about herself. I find this whole phenomenon incredibly tedious. This is the same problem I had with Adaptation, but at least Adaptation featured characters outside the realm of the "New York/The Hamptons" bourgeois lifestyle which I find to be over-portrayed and about as interesting as a thumb tack.

Another problem I found with this movie was the sets which were very often sound stages made to look like a house on the beach or a car driving through a lush landscape. The outdoor scenes as well were very often lighted strangely so as to make an obviously cloudy day look bright. I also have a problem with the whole French theme running through the movie. Hollywood bag of tricks number 3 billion 42: need some culture in your otherwise culturally devoid film? Add some French music and feature the Eiffel tower at least once. Please! This is one of those movies that could potentially go down easy if you're in a near vegetative movie-going state. However, the more you think about it, the more it lacks any life or vibrance that good movies have.
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Nancy Meyers' Sweet Mid-Life Romantic Comedy...
Ben Burgraff (cariart)28 March 2004
Director Nancy Meyers, in her third effort, SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, cements her place in a sisterhood of gifted directors (Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Elaine May) who truly understand men, and can create a 'chick flick' that doesn't caricature our endangered species! Her previous effort, WHAT WOMEN WANT, not only gave Mel Gibson the most 'well-rounded' comic role of his career, but revealed a talent in song and dance that Gibson had never previously demonstrated (with the revival of musicals, one can only hope that Mel will get a shot at displaying those talents again).

With SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, Meyers turns her magic to 66-year old screen legend Jack Nicholson, creating a character that more fully exhibits and explores his famous persona than any other film "Smilin' Jack" has ever made...and even takes him to task, occasionally!

Even more impressively, she gives Diane Keaton, at 57, her finest screen role in years, and reminds audiences that actresses don't HAVE to be under 30 to be desirable, with a character who is wise, funny, vulnerable, and...dare I say it...still enormously sexy!

The story involves a planned weekend tryst between a young Christie's broker (Amanda Peet, in another of her recent 'star-making' roles), and famous record producer Harry Sanborn (Nicholson), a wise-cracking, worldly Lothario in sunglasses, famous for never dating a woman under 35. At her mother's empty beach house, their liaison is interrupted by the arrival of her mom, playwright Erica Barry (Keaton), and her aunt (Frances McDormand, who is fabulous, firing 'robbing the cradle' one-liners back and forth with Nicholson). Despite a tacit agreement to share the house, Harry is so stressed that he has a heart attack during foreplay, saved only by Erica's reluctant CPR. At the hospital, she meets handsome surgeon Keanu Reeves, who is a fan of her work, and is immediately smitten by her.

Ordered by Reeves to recuperate at Barry's home, Sanborn gets to accidentally see her naked, and gradually discovers the infinite pleasures of 'older' women, while Barry, resigned to being alone, rediscovers her sexuality and ability to love. Unfortunately, 'love' is NOT a word in Sanborn's vocabulary, and, confused by his emotions, he returns to his party life in New York.

Devastated by his departure, she begins an affair with the young doctor, and turns Sanborn's visit into the basis of a play (with her achieving 'closure' by killing his character off!) Her actions put Sanborn BACK into the hospital again, TWICE, before he realizes the full impact she has had on him...

Can Sanborn learn from his mistakes? Will Sanborn and Barry find happiness together? Will the pair make the Paris rendezvous they planned when in the heat of passion? Can Barry give up her turtlenecks, and Sanborn, his Viagra?

Full of witty observations about facing "life after 50" (with menopause presented, for once, in a favorable light), SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE is a wise, funny testament about 'growing up' without 'growing old', underscored by classic French tunes (the French, after all, understand the ageless nature of love far better than more 'youth-driven' Americans).

While the film won't have you yearning for your 'golden years', it may help some 'over-50' viewers feel less depressed about no longer being 35!

If for that alone, Nancy Myers deserves a Valentine!
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Don't waste your money
Bouchard320 December 2003
This has got to be one of the worst films I have seen in a while. I was really looking forward to seeing it, I'm a big fan of Jack. It seemed thrown together (continuity errors all over the place), the script was just AWFUL and Diane Keaton was over-the-top. Stay home, do yourself a favor and just rent "About Schmidt" and "Annie Hall."
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nicholson nicholson nicholson
stephenpaultaylor17 September 2004
jack nicholson used to be such a fantastic intriguing actor. It's hard to watch him plummet to such lows. He was always so amazing as intriguing, odd characters. One Flew..., The Shining, Five Easy Pieces, The Passenger, Witches of Eastwick...

Something's.. is not a film to watch if you want to see Nicholson shine. He will always be a great actor in my eyes, but he was wasted in this film. None of his quirky qualities, oddball behaviour, or intriguing Jackness were given space to shine in this hollow shell of a movie.

This movie tries so hard to please the audience, is racked with clichés and is, quite frankly, embarrassing for all involved.

The crying scene is indeed embarrassing and way too over the top. The Paris sequence is so so so cliché, and the bridge over the river Seine ending... wow. how cliché can you get?

Sure, some of the scenes were OK. Keanu wasn't as wooden as I've seen him in previous attempts at acting, but he still gave me splinters.

Somebody else said this was the performance of Keaton's career. Annie Hall, anyone? Not only is AH a great performance, but a great film; far far far better than this one.

I appreciate that the filmmaker is trying to give kudos to older people falling in love and admitting your age and not constantly chasing people over half your age, but it's very heavy handed and uninteresting. Forgettable. Paint by numbers. What more can I say.

Although, in the movie's defense, I was into it until about halfway through the film. Not thinking that it was a brilliant film, but some of the comedic sequences were funny. Until it fell on its face.

Then the film fell to bits.. and yes, seemed to never end.


but then it did. Phew.

I hope Nicholson does a great film again... someday. I can only hope
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DundiesWinner10 April 2004
Ok, I was watching this movie last night with a friend, mainly because all of the previews and reviews said that it would be soooooo good and sooooo funny. They were wrong. The plot was extremely boring, and was basically the following: Meet, Heart Attack, Love, Heart Attack, Fight, Heart Attack, and so on...and I don't know the ending, because we didn't even want to finish it.
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How sweet..!
MoonliqhtRiver9 April 2004
After I had watched this movie I thought.. "How sweet to see an older couple falling in love like that on screen"! You may not understand what I mean by that but I'll explain.

I am pretty young (15 yrs. old) but mature to some my age! I love "love stories". And on average now you usually see the young/beautiful (in some ppl's opinions) people in love movies! And to see Diane & Jack play these roles.. and basically show that even when you are at that age how devine it is :) In my opinion I think Diane is beautiful also. My point is: I really enjoy seeing the older couples sometimes on screen... to know what my parents exactly go there & feel (but never tell me) like that. B/c that is

reality and truth -not just your young love, we don't stay young forever lol! But yes I know there are movies that have older couples, but they are usually just there. I mean on average movies most of the time excuse the fact that how much in love they still are (which I adore)... especially like this movie!

Alright on to the movie -I have read what people have been saying that Something's Gotta Give is predictable. Uhm well of course, I knew how it KINDA baselined to be from trailers also. But come on how many love stories do that?? They end up falling in love.. then have troubles.. at the end get together! A LOT. But to those who are reading this right now: IT IS NOT *ALL* PREDICTABLE!!

I love Keanu Reeves in this movie! He is very sweet and truly in love.. he was just right. I actually enjoyed him the best (besides Diane & Jack's love). Why you might ask? Hm.. let me just say Keanu played a better guy then Jack (him being a young ladies man/player).

But all in all I really liked it! At times (cus of its length) it may drag a little, but that is it's only faults. It has enough humor/love/sweetness, lol, to make it a great movie!! It all depends on your tastes too (I've heard from various ppl that mainly it's a married woman's type of movie). But anyone could like it I believe, so at your very least... you can rent it, hopefully then it'll be led to buying it :D

I give it a 8.5/10! *Alaina
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I don't get it
jaymeister-1329 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
While the movie over all was quite clever and funny at times, I have two major issues.

1. The ending was EXTREMELY lame. A guy brings a girl to Paris for her birthday, presumably is about to give her a diamond ring, and then just gives her up when he sees that she still has feelings for another guy? I realize that movies are about suspension of disbelief, but this was a bit too much. I guess Jack and Diane can have pain but not Keanu.

2. How is it that this guy is an owner of a hip-hop record label, has a party at his house, and there are only white people there? I suppose Diane Keaton is used to these monochrome views of New York after having worked with Woody Allen for so long.
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