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Something's Gotta Give
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Something's Gotta Give order
Director:
Nancy Meyers

Actors:
Jack Nicholson
Diane Keaton
Keanu Reeves

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Aging playboy Harry Sanborn (Nicholson) has a taste for younger women and when his current squeeze (Amanda Peet) takes him up to the Hamptons for a beachside weekend, ol' Harry's heart acts up and lands him in the ER. Nursed back to health by his girlfriend's mom (Diane Keaton), Harry soon discovers another type of tingle in his heart.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If Jack Nicholson is the image of the older woman's ideal man, then certainly Diane Keaton is the older man's Meg Ryan. Performing in her umpteenth "light comedy", Keaton teams up with Jack Nicholson and his cool eyebrows as all four (the eyebrows count as two!) deliver what is sure to be a hit in the DVD player with moms and dads around the world. If ever there was a type of movie geared to fill that time slot between "Frasier" and "Matlock", this is it! SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE plays it as safe as a movie can without starring Sandra Bullock and in between the usual romantic comedy hash, delivers a few decent moments and a lot of Jack Nicholson being a funny prick...and I mean that as a compliment. It basically follows the usual plot of a man and a woman who can't stand each other being forced to spend some time together, falling in love, refusing to admit it to each other and reuniting a while later, amidst tears and proposals. Nothing you don't expect, but it does however accomplish its job well.

Beside some solid performances by Nicholson and Keaton, Keanu Reeves joins the cast as the doctor who treats Harry after his heart attack and who also happens to have a thing for "mature women". Not content to get his weird fetish kicks on the internet like the rest of us, he plays the most charming spoiler you can imagine when he tries to saddle in on Jack's date. We also get treated to a healthy dose of one of my perennial faves, the ultra hot Amanda Peet, who seems to have gotten typecast as the neurotic, undateable girl but who still displays some great skills at wearing lingerie/swimsuits (thank me ladies, looks like a few less husbands will wince when you come home from the video store with this in hand). There's even a brief yet effective performance by Frances McDormand who threatens an underwear clad Nicholson with one of the flick's funnier lines. The whole thing does catch some drag at 128 minutes and could have been wrapped up much quicker. A few of scenes felt a bit forced and redundant and a couple of little sidesteps really didn't add much, but then again, I don't remember anyone asking me to direct their films so what do I know, I'm just a fat guy on a couch! Don't rent or buy this expecting any deviation from the standard romantic comedy mold, since you won't get it, but if you're in the mood for what you think this is going to be...then that's exactly what you'll get.
THE EXTRAS
You can begin your bonus material experience with the two full length audio commentaries. The first features writer/director Nancy Meyers, Diane Keaton and producer Bruce A. Block, the second Meyers and Jack Nicholson. There's nothing to write home about in either. Meyers pretty much dominates the first one and goes over what you'd expect: the cast, the story, yada-yada. Nicholson is all over the second one and it's not surprising since he's a pretty entertaining guy with a very cool voice. You tend to ask yourself why he always seems to be in character until you realize...that's just him.

There's a couple of quickie features that follow, lasting only a few minutes each. The "Hamptons House Set Tour with Amanda Peet" features the stunning actress walking us through the set in a very casual way. She comes off pretty natural and actually quite funny and everyone on set seems to like her. I guess that just seems odd since she always lands roles as bitches. She does overdo it a bit when she goes on about thirty times about how intimidated she was by Nicholson, but then again, he may have threatened to smash a golf club over her pretty little head. Next up "Harry sings Karaoke to Erica", a deleted scene featuring the aforementioned cover by Nicholson himself of an English version of Edith Piaf's classic chanson d'amour "La Vie en Rose". I was almost charmed out of my pants until I remembered that I was at my neighbors.

There's a quick set of cast and crew filmographies attached, as well as the trailer for this and about ten other flicks including Spider-Man 2.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
While SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE is essentially a formulaic romantic comedy which paints by the numbers, stays within the lines (much like this sentence) and has its fair share of clichés, it nonetheless delivers through some good performances and is a decent way to spend a bit of time. Unfortunately, at over two hours...it's way too much time. I don't think I could really suggest buying this as I don't see anyone wanting to watch it more than once, but it's worth a rental if you're a fan of any previous Meg Ryan/Diane Keaton chick flick.
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