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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.55%
Worth A Look: 26.36%
Pretty Bad: 16.36%
Total Crap: 8.18%

6 reviews, 74 user ratings

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Something's Gotta Give
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Boy loses girl, Director loses plot"
3 stars

Whoever heard of a romantic comedy running two hours and 20 minutes? Somewhere along the way, writer-director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want) forgot she was making a simple entertainment and decided that Something’s Gotta Give was going to be a Statement About the Human Condition. Or, what passes for this in Hollywood comedy land - a Comedy-Drama-in-the-style-of-James-L.-Brooks (As Good As It Gets, Terms of Endearment).

One of the worst facets of studio screenwriting is its rigid adherence to formula. Boy meets girl, but then boy/girl has to lose girl/boy and be reunited before we can be sure they could ever be happy together. During the relatively zippy first 90 minutes of Something’s Gotta Give, Diane Keaton’s zanily neurotic rich playwright meets Jack Nicholson’s lovable millionaire cradle-snatcher. It takes that long for Erica and Harry to hit it off, not least because of complications posed by Harry’s girlfriend (Amanda Peet), who happens to be Erica’s daughter, and Harry’s doctor (Keanu Reeves), who is gently but persistently courting Erica.

A more confident screenwriter or director would have known when to stop, but Meyers can’t help herself. Never mind that Erica and Harry have taken longer than normal to get together, we still have to separate them and wait for a lengthy reconciliation scene, six months later. Complete, of course, with the requisite clichéd it-was-really-you-I-loved-all-the-time speech.

By the time Something’s Gotta Give stretches beyond the two-hour mark, its earlier pleasures are close to evaporating. Which is unfortunate, since they were considerable. It’s a real joy to see Diane Keaton in full flight, steely brilliance softened by her disarming, uncontrollable giggling. Jack seems bewitched by his co-star, and it’s a drag when Keaton’s not on the screen or else is forced to mope around pining. Frances McDormand is typically delightful as an acerbic women’s studies professor and friend of Erica. Keanu is unsurprisingly stiff, but Amanda Peet shows herself adept at comedy.

Meyers concocts some snappy, breezy dialogue for the first half of Something’s Gotta Give. A shame she got high on the importance of her own story and smothered its light charm to death.

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originally posted: 01/14/04 16:31:43
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User Comments

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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