May 31, 2014

Review: Something's Gotta Give (2003)

Something's Gotta Give is pretty stacked as far as romantic comedies go in terms of casting. Jack Nicholson is a hard hitter for good reason and Diane Keaton has some pretty significant draw as well even if she's not for everyone. There's a wealth of names in the supporting characters as well. Keanu Reeves post-Matrix, Amanda Peet, Frances McDormand and Jon Favreau as well. $60 million doesn't seem like a whole lot of budget all of a sudden and it made an impressive $266 million worldwide.

So the question is, does Something's Gotta Give rise above the typical romantic comedy movie? It's got a great cast to start but great casts can't save bad movies. I'm pretty confident in saying that SGG is a cut above the norm. Nancy Meyers takes on double duty with having written and directed this film. It's not a perfect film, but it can stand on its own two feet.


Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Produced by: Bruce A. Block, Suzanne McNeill Farwell, Nancy Meyers
Written by: Nancy Meyers
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Running time: 128 minutes
Production company: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Warner Bros., Waverly Films
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Fox-Warner, etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $80,000,000
Box office: $266,728,738 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, Jon Favreau, Paul Michael Glaser, Rachel Ticotin, KaDee Strickland, Peter Spears



Something's Gotta Give introduces us to Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson). He's an extremely successful businessman who has never been married. He prefers to date women under 30-years old and he's currently dating Marin Klein (Amanda Peet). They plan for a weekend in the Hamptons at her mom's house all on their own. Surprise surprise, turns out her mom Erica Barry is there with her sister Zoe (Frances McDormand). Things get awkward...


OK, so Jack Nicholson is playing a bit of a stereotypical character I suppose but he does play the role very well. Nancy Meyers has given him good some lines to spit out and Jack brings his usual award-winning acting. Despite some questionable decisions, you always find a way to still like Harry Sanborn as a character. I say that as a guy though since my girlfriend wasn't always so impressed with him.

I'd be lying if I said Diane Keaton is my favourite actress. I don't despise her or anything, but I can understand people who do. She's all the same an icon even though she basically acts the same way in every single one of her movies. She does pretty well with the material she's given, but pretty badly at other times. (Spoilers) There's an embarrassing Erica Barry crying montage that gets worse and worse as it goes on. I'm not really sure if I was supposed to be laughing or feeling bad for her but either way, it's just makes for an awkward sequence. (End Spoilers)

Just a quick shout out for Keanu Reeves who I find actually does quite well here. He's sheltered and doesn't play a character that requires a whole lot of dimension but it's still hard to take Keanu Reeves as a doctor seriously. I'll always love you though Keanu!

The script is pretty good and makes good use of its two leads. Some of the story elements are a little hard to believe or sink down into typical rom-commy territory but the end result is decent. I have to say though that the run time is too bloated. The movie drags on near the conclusion and it relies heavily on Paris romantic cheesiness throughtout. There are many songs from the soundtrack that are French and (Spoilers) the ending location is in Paris. I think it's a bit too hokey for a movie that takes itself pretty seriously. (End Spoilers)

It's hard to make a romantic comedy that can stand straight without relying on typical Hollywood devices but Something's Gotta Give succeeds partially. It's not a home run, but it make for an enjoyable watch. There's some good chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton that probably would have been very missed if they weren't there. I definitely have to say though that Jack Nicholson as a hip hop record label owner is pretty amusing to imagine.



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