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Neither naughty nor nice

Author: moabitnik from Germany
16 July 2006

Yes, it's true, Jack Nicholson is, quite obviously, having a hell of a time poking fun at himself - or his image, that is. And yes, Diane Keaton (an actress I usually can't stand) has hardly ever been as lovely and likable as she is here. But: the whole story is about as predictable as lights on a Christmas tree and more than just a tad too pat; Frances McDormand and Amanda Peet are unforgivably wasted in grossly underwritten parts while Keanu Reeves, as the young doctor having the hots for Keaton, is his usual bland persona; and at over two hours (!) running time this is grotesquely overlong, as after about 90-100 minutes virtually every comedy, as "sophisticated" as it may be, must inevitably run out of steam. Given the fact that at least one complete sequence was cut from the film, it must've seemed even more interminable in its original version. On the whole, a moderately entertaining movie with a few nice one-liners and a few good laughs, the best thing about it being Jack Nicholson rendering Edith Piaf's classic "La vie en rose" over the credits, though.

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Love Among the Ruins...Hardly

Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA
23 March 2006

There's a great scene on the beach between Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, which seems almost improvised, where they talk about his reputation for non-commitment and her supposed non-date with his doctor. Ironically it feels like a scene from "Annie Hall", and this mostly charming movie could have done with more seemingly spontaneous moments like this. But director/screenwriter Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want", the "Parent Trap" remake) is borne out of the packaged Hollywood film-making that finds double-takes and double-entendres suitable replacements for insightful wit in a formulaic romantic comedy. Luckily, as embodied by the two veteran actors, the characters do not come off as menopausal stereotypes like some pre-"Golden Pond", sunset-gazing couple. True, there are some serious sitcom lapses in Meyers' script, and it does lack the uniquely quirky perspective of a James Brooks in the similar feeling "As Good As it Gets". For the most part, however, this is quite a step up for Meyers, a refreshing look at the emotional complications that come with love among the more mature set. What is particularly nice is how sex is treated as an emotional release rather than just an act of pure passion.

Nicholson plays womanizing record producer Harry Sanborn like most of his late-career roles, i.e., with a sense of eye-rolling panache that somehow gets dismantled when his character reveals too much of his vulnerability. It's probably the unsurprising aspect of his acting that allows Keaton to steal the movie from him. Looking svelte and unapologetic for her age, she brings a lovely sense of gravity to her role of successful playwright Erica Barry, a familiar type who lives in a Pottery Barn-furnished world and has rationalized love out of her life. Keaton has a great honest moment when her character reveals her true feelings outside the restaurant where she catches him on a date after their own tryst. The film somehow loses footing after this scene, as this last portion feels like the story is marking time until the plot strands eventually sort themselves out to the inevitable ending.

The film looks good in a "Metropolitan Home" sort of way, and the supporting cast is quite capable and serviceable. Keanu Reeves is surprisingly believable as the lovelorn doctor smitten with Keaton's character, but he is given short shrift by the script and comes off ultimately as a plot device. On the other hand, Amanda Peet comes across as alternately bright and flighty, a fetching combination, as Erica's daughter. Sadly underutilized as usual, Frances McDormand steals all her scenes as Erica's sister. Someday she will hopefully repeat her success with "Fargo" and get a meatier role deserving of her smart talent and saucy sense of humor. And even more hopefully, perhaps this movie will provide a springboard for other older-skewed romantic comedies given our country's aging demographics...but who am I kidding?

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Something's Gotta Give - Gives Love and Laughs

Author: Leslie King ( from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
20 February 2006

Something's Gotta Give – Gives Love and Laughs Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) the no-ties, younger ladies man, casually dates a classy, New York, Southampton, twenty-something, woman named, Marin Barry, (Amanda Peet), daughter to notable play write, Erica Jane Barry (Diane Keaton). When Erica seeks time away at the family's Southampton retreat, little does she know that she will find her daughter, Marin accompanied by much older boyfriend, Harry. In walks Erica with her sister, Zoe, (Frances McDormand) a funky, spunky, and lovable liberal woman's studies university professor, and in the kitchen is Harry, dressed only in his oxford shirt and underwear, standing in front of the refrigerator, reflecting upon snack food. Erica assumes Harry is a wreck loose on ecstasy, who has taken residence in their posh ocean front retreat. He explains to both ladies, that he is really Marin's boyfriend, and the two are visiting for a getaway weekend. He offers to leave, but Zoe suggests, as all being mature adults, that the four of them simply share their space. The others see her point and agree to it.

But when Marvin Gaye's, "Sexual Healing," puts Harry over the edge, into a heart attack, he finds not only his love life, roller coasting, but Erica's too. It's Harry's doctor, the 36 year old, young and virile, Julian (Kenau Reeves) who falls for the mature and successful Erica, twenty years, his senior. Erica makes a place in her heart for both of these men. Torn between two lovers, the only place to find answers it seems, is in her play writing, and even there, she is drawn to what seems to be an endless stream of tears, as she writes her current piece, "A Woman To Love," words that Harry spoke to her, after they slept together.

Who will she really choose in persuasion and feelings of the heart? We pretty much can guess the answer, at the beginning of the film, but how she arrives there is rather an interesting and often times amusing journey, as Harry thinks he is having bout after bout of additional heart attacks. Watch "Something's Gotta Give," and realize that in the end, love speaks its own language solely between two people.

Diane Keaton is poignant and classy, in her Keaton style way, adapting to two loves at once, although realizing that her heart ultimately favors one over the other. She reminds Marin that discovering love and letting it go, to grow, does not come without tears, sadness, and emotional pain. These emotions are well worth facing, if love is to be found. Amanda Peet, as Miran is just looking for a love to call her own. Realizing the age difference between her and Harry is too vast, she is happy that her mom is making the attempt for true love. Peet's role is fine, but in honesty, a little boring and romantically underdeveloped, for such a bright woman. Frances McDormand, as Zoe is very fun and refreshing and it's unfortunate that her role is so minimal. Kenau Reeves, as Julian, is surprisingly smooth and comfortable throughout his scenes with Keaton. But his "doctor's voice," deep and throaty, seems a little superficial and practiced. Though for his rehearsed vocals, his body language compensates and exceeds itself, in naturalness. For example, his dining scene with Erica and Harry, in Paris is very nice. Very fine Kenau. The sets are fabulous, warm and cozy, and come to life with the actors, who occupy their space.

In attempt for art to imitate life, Julian and Erica fly off to Paris to celebrate Erica's Birthday. But will life imitate art? That is the final question in the end? Something's Gotta Give is a well scripted, with a nicely matched cast of characters, a thoroughly enjoyable ride, one that we hope Jack's heart didn't suffer too much!

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Very Enjoyable

Author: buiger from Monaco
30 December 2005

Very good movie. Harry Sanborn is a rich music executive who is currently dating the nubile young Marin Barry. She takes him for a weekend to her mother's home in the Hamptons and...

Great acting by Jack and Diane, but what else is there to expect from these two? Keannu Reeves is another story altogether, but he is just young and handsome, and I suppose that is enough (can't fool anyone as a doctor though...). The film is exactly the way I like them, realistic, entertaining and intelligent. It will never count as one of the greatest works of art, but it is true to life, makes you think, laugh and have an enjoyable evening. Unfortunately they seem to have forgotten how to make such films nowadays. A welcome surprise.

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Jack Nicholson is the cinematic 'Peter Pan'... Save him!!

Author: Howlin Wolf from Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.
26 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

... He may look older than he did 30 years ago; but if there's ever been a model for NOT acting your age, he is it. "Something's Gotta Give" is maybe intended to suggest he's finally ceased trying to chase the dream hedonistic lifestyle; but do we really need to see one of the last great American motion-picture icons 'calcified'????! I realise I might be in the minority, but my overwhelming reaction was one of 'depression', more than anything...

Call me irresponsible, but I just think it's more fun to see Nicholson playing the irrepressible 'cad', than have him mellow and trying to find his roots. He should only play 'aged' to make a point ("About Schmidt") and not because it's a natural progression that every 'male stud' has to go through! Given that he settles into staid mediocrity by the end, it seems that the only reason to use Jack Nicholson is to lampoon his image by way of a 'jumping-off point' for the plot... To my mind, this setup is not 'risky' enough for an actor of his standing and calibre. It's not that I'm balking at the May-to-December plot; that's fair territory for cinema to travel, and it's handled sweetly and refreshingly... but wouldn't somebody like Michael Douglas fit the desired age-range without puncturing too many people's perception of him? Actually, that would be a knowing send-up of gossip columnists tattle; but I doubt he'd do it because he has his 'vanity' to think of, and it would maybe be a little too close to home...

There's nothing at all wrong with this material, or the way it's done; but it's sad to see Nicholson settling for safe, when he could still be challenging himself, even in his autumn years...

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Relaxing comedy

Author: PhillipSimons from Croatia
7 June 2005

Actually, this movie is very good if you are looking for a light, amusing and of course in "Nicholson" style comedy. It is only that I had the feeling that the movie lasts a little bit too long, but still is not boring. It is a story about two persons in there, shall we say mature age (both over 60). Harry (Nicholson) dates models and good looking, attractive girls, and Erica (Keaton) on the other way is a self- standing and tight women, who is divorced and is now focused on her carrier. As the story goes on, step by step they fall in love... All elements for a good comedy are included- very good performances by Nicholson and Keaton (Reeves is a bit disappointing), a number of hilarious scenes and a story that is quite interesting. Jack Nicholson returns in his all- time role as a irresistible charmer after his performance in About Schmidt. I must mention something elese- the soundtrack is classic for such a movie, but the last song on the CD, La vie an rose is preformed by Jack Nicholson, first in English, then in french. His performance is also included on DVD, in deleted scenes, and is a must- see for all Nicholson fans

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A Funny Romance Movie!

Author: departed07 from United States
30 May 2005

Love movies couldn't get any funnier or any realistic by bringing two of the most oddball actors in movie history, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton as different people who fall in love with each other despite falling in love with younger people.

Jack Nicholson is Harry Sanborn, a music executive playboy who loves to go out with women who are twice as young as he is and goes out with a young auctioneer (Amanda Peet) who is the daughter of famous playwright Erica Berry (Diane Keaton) and just happens to be visiting for the weekend at Erica's house in the Hamptons. Harry has a heart attack and is sent to the hospital while Erica falls for a young doctor (Keanu Reeves) where it's a case of old loving young (just think of Demi and Ashton).

As much pain as it is for Erica to have met Harry, he has to stay mobile at her house until he has recovered and at the meantime gets to know Erica and starts to ask questions about why she likes to wear dark glasses, hats and turtlenecks. He even catches her walking nude (note: that is Diane nude) and even laughs about it.

What both characters don't know is that they are madly in love with each as both keep continue to date younger people. "Something's Gotta Give" is a funny movie about the relationships between people who should dating other people their own age rather than dating somebody younger than they are and whoever thought of the idea to get Jack and Diane together, than it's a perfect match.

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Another one for the DVD Library

Author: plutus1947 from Devon, England
30 October 2004

Although I have not seen all of Nicholson's films, in my opinion this is the best from him since Cuckoo's Nest.

He and Diane Keaton complimented each other perfectly. Nicholson with his usual lecherous ways and Keaton as the neurotic woman. A part I think she plays so well.

I loved the way Erica transformed from a neurotic to a woman well capable of looking after herself (with Harry's help (or lack of it)) and Harry from the aging man about town to a man besotted by Erica.

The film script itself was not the best I will ever experience but the acting from all concerned made this film very watchable.

As soon as you thought Harry and Erica were going to get it together for keeps, something happened to change your mind and although I was convinced things would work out between them, I was never sure.

I am more than happy to give it 8/10

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A rare hit picture for the grownups (spoilers)

Author: dhalgren74 from Tampa, Florida
24 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't believe Fox didn't want to do this flick because the stars were "too old"! I mean here you have the perfect vehicle for Nicholson & Keaton who were so romantic together for their few minutes together as star-crossed real-life lovers Eugene O'Neill and Louise Bryant in the great "Reds". Nancy Meyers wrote the script with these two pros in mind and they do it justice with the able help of Frannie McDormand in support. Jack's a salaciously aging ladies' man dating a much younger woman (Peet) who turns out to be the daughter of a famous lady playwright (Keaton). Gradually the two adults fall in love and the daughter wisely bows out to enable her mom to have some happiness in her life for a change. The romance is rocky and complicated by the attentions of Jack's young doc (Reeves) who is smitten with Keaton. I love this Phillip Barry style script Meyers has produced, complete with a play within a play that her heroine is in the process of writing with much agony! Brilliant work.

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Great date movie for the over-40 crowd!

Author: gloggins from Birmingham, AL
21 October 2004

My husband and I finally saw this when it came on HBO last week. I have to say it was everything I hoped it would be. Granted, I wasn't looking for "deep and meaningful," just a pleasant way to spend the evening, and it was a delight. All of the leading actors were wonderful. Even Keanu Reeves, whom I've never thought too highly of, gave IMO one of the most believable and charming performances of his career. Amanda Peet was adorable, and Jack and Diane were superb. I won't rehash the plot, which has already been done, but it made me and my big macho husband (who is a secret lover of "chick flicks") laugh A LOT, and sniffle just a little. How refreshing to see Jack with someone remotely close to his age -- and enjoying it! They were both so full of life, and even though it's not real life, I hope I will be that full of life at their ages.

I am really baffled by the negative reviews I've read here. For me, it was a lightweight delight from start to finish -- like whipped cream -- not particularly good for you, but so enjoyable, all the same.

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