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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.41%
Worth A Look: 27.03%
Pretty Bad: 16.22%
Total Crap: 8.11%

6 reviews, 75 user ratings

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Something's Gotta Give
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by Chris Parry

"Something gave alright... That something is called credibility."
2 stars

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.

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.

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originally posted: 01/10/04 18:49:13
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User Comments

5/09/20 Ed Riddick Strength of cast elevates this way past screenplay. Cast makes it very enjoyable for me 4 stars
1/20/19 Rodolphe Moore Great premise ruined by the myth that one can find romance with a misogyne 4 stars
10/02/18 Suzanne Loved the Keaton/ Nicholson conversations AND that house! 4 stars
5/10/18 Me...everywhere Peet’s boobs were the grossest part of the movie. Yuck. 3 stars
3/23/17 KarmaBitch Absolutely detest the enligt. 1 stars
9/01/14 Drinking Lemonade One my favorite movies! So nice to see two older actors with such natural chemistry. :) 5 stars
12/06/10 Yvonne I loved this movie, all but the ending. She should have chosen the young doc! 5 stars
11/28/10 Cat The first half was interesting, but the second was boring and the ending-cringe inducing. 3 stars
11/09/10 the dork knight Dreadful second act. The ending made me puke. 3 stars
8/02/10 Cat There were good moments but I can't get the creepy ending out of my mind. 2 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. ehh it was ok. 3 stars
11/05/07 Quigley Worth watching just for Keaton and Nicholson's chemistry. Very charming movie 4 stars
8/05/07 ravenmad the banter was very witty, think~Dawson's Creek grows up. I liked it! 4 stars
8/01/07 johnnyfog Performances elevate the first half, but the ending's awful 4 stars
11/11/06 Bill Hi all 2 stars
6/22/06 TB I like Nicholson better 5 stars
4/24/06 R.W.Welch The two leads are just enough to keep it rolling. C+ 3 stars
3/09/06 Dk Nicholsen deserves better 2 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor Can-be-funny comedy with two great stars. Both give worthy performances. 3 stars
3/26/05 Jack Sommersby Take it or leave it. 3 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Sophiscated and very well written, but seemed like other Nickolson flicks. 4 stars
9/04/04 T.B. The Cast is all right, but the story is mass up 3 stars
7/08/04 Denise great cast 4 stars
7/01/04 Piz same ol romantic comedy, except a lot longer...After an hour I was out like a light 2 stars
6/27/04 Nancy Lapidus Improbable subplot - young doctor hunks don't pine after 55-year-old women. 3 stars
6/19/04 KENT No chemistry, predictable, and it was L O N G , , , 1 stars
5/16/04 Idiot's Mouth OK, again: old people are NOT funny! Old, naked people are an affront to humanity! Die! Die 1 stars
5/13/04 Pinkline Jones Kitsch amateurish script - would help if Keaton could ACT 3 stars
5/07/04 Ross I laughed so hard, excellent movie. This one's going on my to buy list 5 stars
4/23/04 Elena Nicholson and Keaton at their very best. Movie was clever and deftly witty. 4 stars
4/13/04 PinkiePie Great movie! SO worth watching! 5 stars
4/13/04 Madeline Too long, hated the contrived plot and gross love scenes. 1 stars
4/11/04 felicity reli cool movie 5 stars
4/08/04 Mary Boule A very witty, overdue reaction to the "old guy with babe" Hollywood cliche. Wonderful film. 4 stars
3/23/04 marie-anne Totally refreshing and so much fun 5 stars
3/15/04 Monday Morning Absolutely wonderful 5 stars
3/14/04 E-Rock Pretty good, actually. Nicholson is awesome, and Keaton earns her Oscar nod well. 4 stars
3/08/04 S.F. God Awful !! 2 stars
3/06/04 Jaco Visser A nice, laugh-out-loud, warm and satyrical film! Nicholson at his synic best! 5 stars
3/05/04 Felix Buchmann Jack Nickolson at his worst! 1 stars
2/16/04 My Two Cents Pretty corny, comedy comes from middle-aged romance, e.g. the glasses scene. Jack's good. 4 stars
2/15/04 Pete It's extremely formulatic - yes. But Keaton and Nicholson make you think 'who cares?!'. 5 stars
2/15/04 Samantha Keaton and Nicholson make this film a pure joy. 5 stars
2/15/04 Russell Forget the script - just sit back and enjoy watching two legends at work. 5 stars
2/15/04 stevejones I'm 50 and it gave me the creeps 1 stars
2/12/04 Priscilla Postlethwaite Keanu Reeves plays most likeable character & one left a loose end. Guess it figures. 4 stars
2/12/04 So Erica say's she's not regular & men like regular Erica, ever consider waiting longer in a relationship to discuss your constipation? 4 stars
2/07/04 Suzz very enjoyable frippery; keaton is a gem 4 stars
2/04/04 Chris It was fine but long and the nude scene was nasty. 3 stars
1/26/04 Paul Frassinelli Fairly funny, with rare strong laughs 4 stars
1/22/04 bribear acting-great; plot-average 3 stars
1/19/04 sillyjillyh Excellent; several great laughs;great acting 5 stars
1/16/04 Lizzie It was fun. 4 stars
1/15/04 Kate Simply dreadful. Ray-Bans only take you so far and Jack has employed them once too often. 2 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Keaton & Nicholson are wonderful in this pleasant comedy. 4 stars
1/15/04 BigNate thouroughly enjoyable 4 stars
1/13/04 Suresh Long, same old same old, but worth a look for acting 3 stars
1/11/04 dave heavily dressed up crap 1 stars
1/10/04 kaz morrison what a starfest!!Loved Diane,although no woman with a brain would choose Jack over Keanu 4 stars
1/09/04 Helen Bradley Keaton great, film should be cut by 25% 3 stars
1/08/04 john wonderful, uplifting...jack and diane 5 stars
1/06/04 Chris Nobody wants to see Keaton naked but everyone should see her preformence. Sweet but long. 3 stars
1/02/04 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. The ending is typical but at least the formula is new 4 stars
12/25/03 breadman Keaton & Jack do well and she is amazing 4 stars
12/25/03 Lindsey One of the best movies i've ever seen! 5 stars
12/24/03 Judy One of my favorite films of all time 5 stars
12/23/03 I liked it Keaton gets naked 3 stars
12/22/03 Sarah They could have cut 15% of the movie. One dimensional and boring. 1 stars
12/22/03 sethandbeth A movie for everyone's ..MOM. So unrealistic!!! 1 stars
12/19/03 Mashawnda Dowell Great Film 4 stars
12/17/03 Flick Chick tv movie of the week type schmaltz - disappointing. 3 stars
12/17/03 Ray It was good, but not too much 3 stars
12/16/03 nick2k good story......but i felt uneady with the transition of a pivitol event. 3 stars
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  12-Dec-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Mar-2004



Directed by
  Nancy Meyers

Written by
  Nancy Meyers

  Jack Nicholson
  Diane Keaton
  Amanda Peet
  Keanu Reeves
  Jon Favreau
  Frances McDormand

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