Worth A Look: 25.71%
Pretty Bad: 17.14%
Total Crap: 7.62%
6 reviews, 69 user ratings
|Something's Gotta Give
by Chris Parry
I can buy the concept of two older individuals falling in love while one dates the other's daughter. I can totally go with the concept that one of those older folks can learn a little about himself when he figures out, albeit too late, that brains and personality and class beat beauty. And I can even deal with said older folks letting their saggy skin mesh as they trudge their way through a little lovemaking. But I can't buy any movie that spends nearly two hours coming to a point, only to make that point entirely redundant in its rush to give you a happy ending. Why did we just endure this thing if nothing was learned from the experience? Was it all a test to see if our bladders could hold longer than Diane Keaton's common sense?Jack Nicholson plays Harry, an aging ladies man with a hot young thing on his arm every night of the week. His most recent hottie, Marin (Amanda Peet), brings Harry home to meet mom at her beachhouse, where he promptly has a heart attack and is told he must stay until he recovers. Since Marin is a career girl, she's got to fly, leaving arch chauvinist Jack and turtleneck-wearing Mom together in the same house. Cue romantic hijinks.
"Something gave alright... That something is called credibility."
And a lot of easy plot turns. And an ending that will infuriate all but the dimmest of viewers. And Diane Keaton's naked boobs.
There's nothing better in a Hollywood rom-com than when two great actors just go at it all Hepburn/Grant-style, dazzling us with witty repartee and letting a little unmentioned sexual innuendo slowy bring them closer together. Unfortunately, we haven't seen that standard of rom-com come out of Hollywood since said Hepburn and Grant were plying their trade. Heck, even Hepburn and Henry Fonda showed more romantic comedy in On Golden Pond than anyone else has in the two decades since - and they were both half dead at the time.
So because Jessica Tandy and Abe Vigoda were unavailable, the producers of this flick went for the second oldest pairing alive today, Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, to create their romantic mismatch and have all of us audience types oohing and aahing about how wonderful life will be when we're like they are.
Only nobody with half a brain wants to be like these two messed up individuals, neither of whom seem to have learned a damn thing despite their collective 14 decades of existence on planet Earth. Nicholson, as he ALWAYS is, is a womanizer from hell who wouldn't know to commit himself outside of a Cuckoo's Nest. Keaton is a serial housefrau, despite (of course) also being an award-winning playwright (because she couldn't just be a mom now, could she?).
Over time, the two start falling for one another, which is all the ickier since Jack is supposedly humping Diane's daughter. Only... he's not. "No mom, we've never slept together, you should totally take him off my hands, I'm fine with that..."
Is that not the ICKIEST thing you've ever heard? Sure mom, take my boyfriend, please. But that's merely the first of many easy turns Something's Gotta Give takes on its way to cinematic stupidity.
See, Keanu Reeves is in the mix, as a young doctor who has fallen in love with Keaton. Now, perhaps there's just a glitch in the Matrix, or maybe Keanu has some sort of Oedipus thing going on that relates to an unspoken foot-rubbing incident with Weird Aunt Mabel at the age of three, but we'd never know, because in Something's Gotta Give World (turn left at Bizarro World), a woman who is nearly 60 can be shagging Keanu Reeves and everyone's just fine with that. How do they pass the time? By grabbing a Sharpie and playing 'connect the skin cancer dots' on her forehead? Maybe they share a passion for Bingo - who knows? Either way, it's creepy to watch.
As is the decision to have Diane Keaton flash her boobs (and more) on the big screen. Now, I'm not one to complain when an A-List star flashes her moneymakers, but once she's hitting the point where the director needs to employ 'stunt feet' for close-ups of her walking across the carpet (and they do here), it's time to keep the droopadoodles under wraps.
Jack's not immune to the rules of gravity either, and when he lays on Keaton in bed, there's so much spare skin drooping down over her, I honestly feared she might get smothered in a mountain of wrinkled, hairy flesh. But hey, let's let such things slide why don't we, and concentrate on what should have been the one quality this film boasts that could have dragged it up a few notches - the leads.
The best aspect of the film is when Keaton and Nicholson are allowed to more or less adlib their romantic build-up, using the talents they have to their greatest effect. But then the director, Nancy Meyers, steps in and decides to pander to the test audiences with the kind of cheap, nasty ending that will only fool those in the audience who count What Women Want as the best movie they've ever seen.
If this film had ended the way it had been designed to, with Jack learning a lesson and moving on with his life, I would have walked out prepared to give it a healthy 3.5 out of 5 for effort, but this ugly, repugnant, simple ending, which I won't describe but you can surely guess before you even buy a ticket, had me feeling like I'd just wasted the last ninety minutes of my human existence.Something's Gotta Give will surely play the second half of the Sunday video double header at your local old folks' home with Coccoon, and maybe that's the biggest crime that Nancy Meyers has committed in the making of this film... after all, old folks are perhaps the people who can least afford to have ninety minutes of their lives sucked away with such utter pap.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8384&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/10/04 18:49:13