Jack Nicholson does it again in Something's Gotta Give, his latest romantic comedy that also stars Diane Keaton. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, the movie has all the chemistry needed to be pure entertainment.
Nicholson plays Harry Langer, a 63-year old bachelor that would never even think of dating a woman above 30. Of course, when he has a heart attack and is placed under the care of his latest fling's mother (Keaton), his eyes are opened to a new kind of woman: one close to his own age (in reality separated by almost a decade). She's a successful playwright trying to figure out her latest story (guess what that'll be), but Jack has competition - his 36-year old doctor (Keanu Reeves), who also is in love with her. It's not just a battle of the sexes - it's a battle of the ages - and there will be only one man standing at the end (assuming Jack doesn't have another heart attack).
Something's Gotta Give is simple, to-the-point, and best of all, hilarious. Two of cinematic history's most established actors, Nicholson and Keaton, both of whom only seem to get better with time (Nicholson seems to get an Oscar nomination every year - though he won't get one for this movie - and Keaton is one of the few "elderly" women that can still land significant roles in good films), are at their finest here, playing off of each other perfectly. Okay, so maybe "at their finest" is a little too friendly; the two are great to watch, but since this is a basic romantic comedy, there are no Oscar performances here. Nevertheless, they are fun to watch, and tactfully play off of one another throughout the course of the movie.
This movie has enough jokes for both sexes (especially women, whose laughter definitely drowned out any men in the audience), and even though it is a chick flick, Jack makes it quite enjoyable for the guys. The first two-thirds of the movie are especially funny, with a variety of smart and witty jokes that range from clever dialogue to a funny sex scene that includes taking one's blood pressure.
The movie does feel drawn out towards the end, as it skips ahead six months and falls into cliché romantic comedy mode; the comedy dwindles here, but never completely dies away. It felt as though five or ten minutes could have been sliced out of the movie for good measure, but nevertheless is still entertaining.
Something's Gotta Give is a great romantic comedy, though if one must compare it to some of Jack's other films, it is a notch down from the grace of As Good as it Gets. This one never thrives to be any more than a simple, New York romantic comedy, and succeeds easily at delivering what it was intended to do. This movie should have no problem warming up the hearts of audience members - men and women - during the holiday season.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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