Something’s Gotta Give
By Rebecca Redshaw
There’s no doubt about it, Jack Nicholson is an exceptional screen presence. The twinkle in his eye, even when he’s playing a self-centered, aging, Viagra dependent bon vivant, ya gotta like the guy.
Diane Keaton goes one better than liking him and falls in love with this lovable cad who thinks any woman over the age of thirty is a fear to behold.
Thus the thin plot of SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE unfolds. Boy (Harry) meets girl (Erica). Boy falls for girl, boy loses girl, and predictably, boy gets girl in the end. The twist to SOMETHING is that the “boy” is sixty-three years old and the “girl” is somewhere in her fifties. By Harry’s standards that’s two decades too many.
Nancy Meyers wrote and directed this unusual comedy. Unusual? Well, yes, considering, these card carrying AARP members provide the romantic thrust, if you will, to the plot. Her other writing credits (inc. FATHER OF THE BRIDE I & II and BABY BOOM) allow for more traditional foibles of life to be exploited. Yet, there is no shortage of laughs in SOMETHING.
Watching Harry on the road to recovery in the short term (baring his assets in the hospital hallway) or long term (repeatedly on his back on an emergency room gurney) is enlightening. Suspended reality helps in the acceptance of his transformation by movie’s end but after all it’s only a movie, right?
Erica’s foray back into the feeling world, after lonely post-divorce years, is painfully realistic until – Voila! – Keanu Reeves arrives as the handsomest of doctors, generations her junior and enthralled with the “older woman” from the get go.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the stuff of romantic comedies. But in spite of Keaton’s still endearing charm and Nicholson’s impish persona, SOMETHING”S GOTTA GIVE is predictable. Not that that’s a bad thing. But one would hope for more clever character expose than a brief walk on the beach and an exchange of Google searches to turn the tide.
Speaking of GOTTA GIVE, would someone out there in film land please give Frances McDormand something more to do in a major motion picture than a bit part? Talk about leaving the audience wanting more.