Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton are characters that hit close to home in Something’s Gotta Give, a film that asks what if Jack and Diane got together and fell in love in a Nancy Meyers film? Jack is Harry Sanborn, a womanizer in his 60s who only dates women in their 20s. Diane Keaton is Erica Barry, an accomplished but neurotic playwright who hasn’t dated in quite a while and wears turtlenecks… in the summer. Harry, of course, is dating Erica’s 20-something daughter, Marin.
All relationships have their obstacles.
The fun ensues when Erica finds out that Marin is dating a man old enough to be her grandfather. Despite their closeness in age, (Harry is 10 years her senior) Erica can’t stand Harry, not to mention the idea of Harry and Marin together. Not to worry though, Harry has a heart attack before he can consummate his relationship with Marin. To top it all off, at the hospital, Erica meets Julian Mercer, Keanu Reeves as the sizzling, sexy doctor that rescues Harry from the brink of death. He’s about 10 years YOUNGER than Erica but he wants her number.
And thus, a love triangle is born.
Nicholson and Keaton are masterful actors as they fight and flirt their way to love. The dialogue by Nancy Meyers is witty and entertaining, especially when it gives two of the finest actors in Hollywood (and possibly ever) the chance to banter endlessly. Once everyone’s over the idea that Harry and Marin used to make kissy-face, Erica and Harry begin to discover each other and Nicholson and Keaton blossom together onscreen. Why didn’t they always do romantic comedies together?
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Please! The romance starts here.
Something’s Gotta Give is just like any romantic comedy. The stars just happen to be a bit more mature than usual. But love is blind to age. As the case always seems to be with guys and girls, Erica finds that she is still more emotionally mature than Harry despite their consecutive ages. Woefully, she’s the first to figure out that she’s falling for Harry. Harry’s just a little bit slow to figure out that he’s fallen in love with her.
We agonize with Erica over Harry’s wide-eyed confusion. Diane Keaton is stunning, hilarious and endearing as a brokenhearted wreck that has lost the possible love of her life. Erica is more open and honest than I’ve seen a character be in years. Though, Keaton lets it all hang out, literally, in her first full-frontal sex scene, it is her eyes that win us over in this film. It is in them that we find the trials and tribulations of love forecasted. Love hurts.
Harry’s confusion is classic Nicholson. Though, we become exasperated by Harry’s inability to commit, the anxiety he endures draws us back in. Sure, he’s a bit dim when it comes to love but by being a charming though possibly permanent bachelor, Harry forces us to be patient. We are more than happy to wait for him to come around.
And it’s worth it.
What the actors in Something’s Gotta Give are giving us is their best. Frances McDormand is uproarious as Erica’s younger sister, a militant feminist with her own ideas on love in middle ages. Reeves proves his acting chops by being sincere while playing second fiddle to Nicholson’s skirt chaser. It’s Nicholson not Reeves that’s given the cue to lose his pants and show us some cheek. Whoa. Even Amanda Peet is golden as a 20-something fearful of falling in love.
Something’s Gotta Give glows on DVD. The scenes that seemed drawn out in theaters are perfectly paced for DVD. It is a stellar romantic comedy starring the best doing their best. What happens when Diane and Jack fall in love in a Nancy Meyers film? Something glorious that shouldn’t be missed.
The DVD hosts a number of features. Commentary by director Nancy Meyers, producer Bruce Brock and actress Diane Keaton is really a tease. Keaton makes a cameo appearance. Commentary by director Nancy Meyers and actor Jack Nicholson is quite comical. Nicholson balances Meyer’s monotone voiceover with his sexy, craggily voice and wit. Amanda Peet stars in the “Hamptons House Set Tour,” while the singular deleted scene finds Nicholson singing karaoke to Keaton’s character.