Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley Something's Gotta Give - 2 Stars (Average) Something's Gotta Give is a romantic comedy without substance that works because of Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. The story line involves Harry (Nicholson) as a senior citizen that never dates any woman over 30 until he meets and falls in love with Erica (Keaton). Erica, another senior citizen, meets Harry at her Hamptons beach house and discovers that Harry is dating her daughter Marin (Amanda Peet) and about to bed her. Harry's romantic weekend with Marin is marred by some chest pains and Erica reluctantly agrees to help nurse him back to health. Once Harry and Erica are alone together, Harry develops an interest in Erica.
When Harry's young doctor starts to pursue Erica, Harry must make a commitment or lose his chance at happiness. Something's Gotta Give is almost a piece of cake for Nicholson and Keaton. Nicholson has 12 Oscar nominations and 3 Best Actor awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Terms of Endearment and As Good As It Gets while Keaton has 4 Oscar nominations and a Best Actress award for Annie Hall. Who else do you know besides Jack Nicholson that has been nominated for an Oscar in five different decades? Nicholson has also won 7 Best Actor Golden Globe awards and has been a John F. Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Jack Nicholson does make the people around him perform better.
The evidence comes when you realize that every time Nicholson has won a Best Actor Oscar his film partner has won a Best Actress Oscar. Louise Fletcher won the Oscar for Best Actress in One Flew Over the Cuckoo' s Nest, Shirley MacLaine won for Terms of Endearment and Helen Hunt won for As Good As It Gets. Keaton was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress in Something's Gotta Give, won a Golden Globe, added two other lesser Best Actress awards, and picked up another two nominations. Nicholson earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Keaton is one the few actresses at age 60 who has been able to partner with bankable leading men. She pulls it off because she has her own sense of style and grace, not an Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy, but certainly someone to notice.
I found myself wanting to bond with Keaton. She seems to have found the secret to staying young, alive and attractive while Nicholson at 69 and counting appears his age and has not benefited from the passage of time. Keaton is one fine looking 60-year-old woman. Also in the cast are Keanu Reeves, Paul Michael Glaser, Amanda Peet and Frances McDormand and some lesser lights.
Something's Gotta Give could have been better if writer/director Nancy Meyers was not so involved. It was not her directing but her writing that did her in. How a young Marin (Amanda Peet) could be attracted to a man old enough to be her grandfather is beyond my comprehension and the comprehension of many young women in America, especially when the man of choice is Nicholson in this role.
It is very difficult to be both the writer and director of a film and many that have tried have not benefited from the effort. Meyers (average rating) joins a not-so-exclusive club of fellow writer/directors who have fallen short, including Thomas Bezucha (average rating) for The Family Stone, Michael McGowan (average rating) for Saint Ralph, Jared Hess (terrible rating) for Napoleon Dynamite, Robert Rodriguez (terrible rating) for Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Paul Thomas Anderson (terrible rating) for Punch-Drunk Love. The worst of the worst was Punch-Drunk Love. Meyers would do well to study carefully the effort of Tim McCanlies (excellent rating) in Secondhand Lions. McCanlies does pull off the dual responsibility of being a writer/director and tells a fabulous story.
Another notable performance was by James L. Brooks (good rating) for Spanglish. Jack Nicholson does have a rep for a quickie. He is on Maxim's "Top 10 Living Legends of Sex" list with an alleged 2,000 women that he has apparently slept with; if true, the vast majority of these must have come when he was younger and on top of his game. Some of these sex partner numbers seem ridiculous. If Nicholson slept with a different woman every night, it would take him roughly five-and-half-years to get the job done.
Somehow, I doubt he was quite that active, especially since he enjoyed a 17-year relationship with Anjelica Huston who left him when Rebecca Broussard had become pregnant with Nicholson's child. He had two children with Broussard. Some still claim that Nicholson really did bed that many women and managed to do so by being very discreet.
One thing is for sure, he certainly would not need to do a tell-all book to generate income as he is already a millionaire many times over.
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