Somethings Gotta Give

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, Frances McDormand

Director: Nancy Meyers

Love comes in all sizes, ages, and when you least expect it!

Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a man at the top of his game, a millionaire many times over, over sixty years old but still making it with girls half his age and sticking to his policy of no birds over thirty. Yup, Harry is the ultimate bachelor. Nicholson relishes his role and truly looks like he is having plenty of fun. Harry’s current prospective conquest Marin (Amanda Peet), takes him to her mother, Erica Barry’s (a successful New York playwright played marvellously by Diane Keaton) home for the weekend, not expecting anyone to be there of course. Lo and behold Erica and her sister Zoe, zestfully played by Frances McDormand, show up just when Harry and Marin are about to really start having some fun. Harry chooses to leave but is prompted by Zoe to stay and just go on and do his thing whatever it may be with Marin, so he stays.

During their frolicking Harry has a heart attack and is rushed to hospital where he is attended to by Dr Julian Mercer portrayed interestingly by Keanu Reeves. Dr Mercer insists that Harry should not return too quickly to the city and so Erica is forced to keep him at her home for a while. When Marin and Zoe leave, Erica and Harry are left alone and this is where the fun really begins. Harry and Erica are forced to interact leading Erica to discover a very passionate and likeable side to Harry. When Marin returns and notices this change she promptly breaks up with Harry. Meanwhile Dr Mercer likes Erica and turns out to be a big fan of her work so he asks her out on a date which she accepts.

Harry’s now switched his interests from Marin to Erica which leads to him and Erica having an affair causing Erica to realise that she’s fallen for Harry but she can still see that he hasn’t got rid of the bachelor bug. Now well, Harry leaves for the city. Unavoidably obliged to return to the city and meet her ex-husband’s (played by Paul Michael Glaser of STARSKY AND HUTCH fame) future wife and see Marin, Erica bumps into Harry. Harry, true to form is with a sweet, little thirty-something. Aghast, Erica runs away from Harry and he gallantly chases after her only to be met by her weeping pleas of love for him. As to be expected this only serves to scare Harry away and so Erica returns home on her own but leaves behind a very worried and anxious Harry.

Erica’s anguish surprisingly inspires her to write a new play based on the whole Harry issue and she finds a new interest in the young yet faithful Dr Mercer. Harry hears about the play and attempts to see Erica once again but much to his despair the whole thing is too close to the truth for his liking.

The story began with Harry and his lifestyle and interestingly enough returns us to him once again to see what the whole Erica episode drives him to do. This you have to see for yourselves, as it is truly the icing on the wonderful cake that is SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE.

Nancy Meyers fully utilises her two stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in roles that were apparently written for them and which they flesh out perfectly. Ms Meyers adds a touch of old school class to her overall product not only in the performances she commands but also in the overall look and feel of the film. Keaton’s Erica is outwardly strong but proves to be just as vulnerable as the girl next door as she confirms in her hilarious yet sweet crying/wailing scenes in the aftermath of her heartbreak with Harry. Nicholson’s Harry is boisterous, witty, bullish yet passionate and also terrified to the point of having anxiety attacks and mistaking them for heart attacks – yes terrified of commitment. The supporting cast are excellent but this movie is all about Nicholson and Keaton.

Nicholson and Keaton are a match made in a heaven made by Nancy Meyers that proves that eventually where love is concerned SOMETHING’S definitely GOTTA GIVE!

6 out of 6 stars

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