Something's Gotta Give movie review, dvd, movie poster
Something's Gotta Give movie poster

Something's Gotta Give
Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton

Directed by Nancy Meyers
Rated PG-13
for sexual content, brief nudity and strong language

3/4 out of Stars, Movie Grade: C-
movie poster movie trailer

Theatrical Release: December 12, 2003
Running time: 117 minutes

by Kevin Lang

The theatrical preview for Nancy Meyers' new film "Somethings Gotta Give" was one of the funnier movie trailers of the season, especially during a certain scene with Jack Nicholson walking in on a naked and unsuspecting Diane Keaton. What the trailer didn't show was the distant shot of a fully nude Diane Keaton (or her body double). With this shot included, the scene was more awkwardly surprising than it was funny, and I immediately began trying to recall if I had been mistaken in believing that the film, which also included a nude shot of Jack Nicholson's backside, was in fact rated PG-13. Much of the film played out this way. Moments that could have been funny just didn't quite find the right punch lines.

The film's story involved the life awakening experience of an aging man named Harry Langer (Nicholson), who prior to meeting Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) had only dated women who were much younger than him, such as Erica's daughter Marin. I liked the idea of Harry being a man who had never been close enough to true love to realize the fulfillment that it could bring to his life. It was a good basis for a story. Unfortunately, director Nancy Meyers failed to create a film that complemented this premise. Instead, I found myself sitting through a slow moving film that misused its characters and the opportunities that they were presented with.

For example, Erica's daughter, who was closed off to serious relationships throughout most of the movie, was suddenly married and pregnant to an unknown character near the end, only six months later. It was too quick of a change for her character, especially when another character, although the obvious choice for her to end up with, would have probably been more believable. For a film that managed numerous characters and relationships well, see the recently released "Love Actually."

Instead of enjoying fulfilling stories surrounding all of the characters, including Dr. Julian (Keanu Reeves), Marin, and Erica's sister Zoe (Francis McDormand), I had to settle for a mediocre story that surrounded mainly Harry and Erica. Nicholson and Keaton failed to construct an enjoyable onscreen chemistry. In one scene, a poor performing Keaton cried hysterically for about thirty seconds like a fifteen-year-old who had her heart broken for the first time. Only, a fifteen-year-old probably would have been a little more believable. At this point, I felt embarrassed for her, and found her character borderline ridiculous.

In the end, "Something's Gotta Give" was surprising in that the humorous parts in the movie's trailer weren't even half as funny in the film. Much like the character of Harry had been prescribed in the story, the film could have as well used some Viagra to get it going. Instead, it remained limp, filling me with frustration as I anxiously thought, something's gotta give.

"Something's Gotta Give" Review written December 10, 2003, CTF.

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