"Something's Gotta Give"
Directed by Nancy Meyers.
Written by Nancy Meyers.
Starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Frances
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 12/17/03
I was hangin’ out in Columbus last week with
my friends Raymond and Liz Weeden, and Raymond dipped out so that
Liz and I could go catch a flick. Liz had a freebie to a preview
showing of “Something’s Gotta Give”, and when the price is free, the
Price is Right!
Free was key here, since I probably wouldn’t
have wanted to drop big coin on this new romantic comedy. Jack
Nicholson plays Harry, the head of the second-biggest hip-hop label
in America and purveyor of young skirt. His current girl (Amanda
Peet) takes him to her mother’s beach house outside of New York City
for a weekend getaway...only to find that her mom Erica (Diane
Keaton) and mom’s sister Zoe (Frances McDormand) are hangin’ out at
the house instead. Romantic hijinks ensue as Erica—who at first
thinks Harry is a total dog—slowly warms to the charms of Harry as
he recovers from a heart attack suffered while staying in the beach
After a slow start, “Something’s Gotta Give”
becomes some of the funniest stuff I have seen this year. Really,
minutes 15 through about 50 are solid, AAA stuff. Soon after one of
the funniest sex scenes ever (truly instant classic material), the
movie devolves into a predictable yet illogical formula film.
Through it all, Nicholson and Keaton are fantastic. Keaton truly
is radiant in many of her scenes, and when she walks out in a black
dress before a date with a local doctor (Keanu Reeves), even I
dropped a Keanu-like “whoa!” along with many other people in the
audience. Nicholson has many funny moments, from his droll delivery
to a great scene where he is suddenly awakened and scrambles to
compose himself after taking a snooze. The man does physical comedy
so well...and even though you see it in the preview, the bit where
he accidentally sees Erica naked still made me laugh out loud.
But, as I said above, the midpoint of this
film onward is the reason why I normally hate romantic comedies such
as this...and why I still think
“Love Actually” is my favorite of
these kinds of films because it doesn’t swim in the pool of
predictable, sappy horseshit. Near the end, the script (written by
director Nancy Meyers) gives us the opportunity to dig out of it
all...and then, even a second chance...and then it goes straight
Hollywood and I almost had to punch somebody, I was so irritated.
So angry. Why can’t Hollywood actually try and turn this formula
on its head to give us something, I dunno, realistic?? And, I think
I speak for the people of our great country when I say...isn’t
Frances McDormand an Oscar winner? How is it, then, that she
disappears for about an hour in the middle of the film? Her scenes
are special when she is around, and then poof! It’s like Meyers
forgot how funny McDormand (she won for “Fargo”) can be.
Solid for $7, maybe even better for Netflix,
since there is nothing greatly cinematic about the experience.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard