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Something's Gotta Give|
cast: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, and Francis McDormand
writer, producer, director: Nancy Meyers
128 minutes (PG-13) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Warner NTSC DVD Region 1 retail
reviewed by Shiraz Rahim
Movies like this seem to show that sentimental and comical love stories can still survive
and prove entertaining in a world that is more devoted to action and violence. Although
I have never really been interested in romance movies, I found Something's Gotta Give
to be a refreshing, unique piece of work that I am genuinely glad I tried.
The movie begins with Harry, played wonderfully by Jack Nicholson, as he drives out
to a house on a beach to spend a weekend with his girlfriend Marin (Amanda Peet). The
two, although extremely divided in terms of age (Harry being 63, Marin being near 30),
seem to be very close and enjoy themselves... that is, until the appearance of Marin's
mother and aunt. Erica, the mother (played by Diane Keaton), is worried about Marin's
choice of a boyfriend and becomes even more disgruntled as she attempts to finish writing
her next play with her daughter and Harry still in the house.
After some time, Harry, being as old as he is, experiences a heart attack. This is where
the real drama of the story begins, as Erica becomes acquainted with the local doctor
Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves) and begins to develop a small crush on the young man. At
the same time, Harry is forced to stay at Erica's house since his condition prevents him
from travelling back home with Marin. The two develop a small friendship that eventually
ensues into an all-out affair in which the two finally begin to experience love for the
first time. After a while, Harry is fit to leave his new lover, and the two depart on
happy terms and continue living a happy existence.
The happiness ends with Erica seeing Harry at a dinner with another woman, at which point
she falls into a bout of sadness. She ends up channelling all her feelings into her play
and writing a story based around her relationship with Harry. Harry, after seeing Erica
once again, also experiences emotions of extreme sadness that eventually causes him to
chase Erica and win her back. The rest of the story follows Erica's life as she tries
to choose between her feelings for Harry and her developing relation with Julian.
The reason I particularly enjoyed this film was that Nancy Meyers, the director, found
a way to combine comedy, romance, and drama into a story that worked surprisingly well,
at least compared other such films I've seen. I found myself laughing and feeling sad
and happy, emotions that I haven't felt from watching a movie for a long time. This
excellent plot mixed with the equally great actors mentioned above (as well as a small
role played by Francis McDormand) make Something's Gotta Give a movie I would
Among the extras on the DVD are commentaries by Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson that,
as expected, are very humorous and informative. Aside from this comes a small deleted
scene that I won't ruin but I think that the viewer will be glad to see on the DVD.
Apart from this, there really isn't much to comment on in terms of extras: the few that
are here are definitely entertaining, but if you're solely looking for extras, this
choice isn't a great DVD choice.
So aside from the lack of extras, which in my opinion were just enough to top off the
movie, the film is absolutely wonderful. You'll find yourself laughing and crying throughout
the witty antics of Nicholson and the heart-wrenching scene when Nicholson tries to win
back the love of his life. Even if romance movies aren't exactly the way you spend your
time, you've gotta give Something's Gotta Give a try.