Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something's Gotta Give

I cannot get over the fact I did not recognize brilliant Diane Keaton in The Godfather. So I would like to talk about a movie where she is just radiant: Something’s Gotta Give, released in 2003, directed by Nancy Meyers, and staring my not so favourtie Jack Nicholson, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves and Frances McDormand.

Harry Sanborn (Nicholson) is a 60-year old who dates only women below 30. On a weekend with his latest Fling Marin (Peet) he meets her mother Erica (Keaton) and her sister (McDormand). As he suffers a heart attack and needs rest, he ends up being stuck with Erica for a few days, while the others have to go back to the city. The initial animosity between Harry and Erica gradually turns into something more affectionate.

So, yes, you should upfront this is a story without any real surprise, and you can see the end coming well before it happens. But it is also witty and subtle, full of humour. I had not laughed that much in a long time.


Harry: I've never seen a woman her age naked before.

Julian Mercer: You're kidding.

Harry: Hey! We're not all doctors, baby.


Harry: I just have one question: What's with the turtlenecks? I mean it's the middle of summer.

Erica: Well I guess I'm just a turtleneck kind of gal.

Harry: You never get hot?

Erica: No.

Harry: Never?

Erica: Not lately.


Harry: I have never lied to you, I have always told you some version of the truth.

Erica Barry: The truth doesn't have versions, okay?


We are instantly drawn in, the atmosphere is colourful, the soundtrack incredible, and all elements blend perfectly to produce a fun story that touches on the "men vs women" topic, but without pushing too far.

Jack Nicholson is clearly having fun, and provides an image of a bachelor, close to his real life image, without hesitating to make fun of himself, and in the end proving there is more depth to his character than he lets on. Diane Keatin plays Erica, who is wounded by her past experience, yet passionate and willing to give love a chance: after Harry leaves her, she starts dating young doctor Julian(Reeves), who is mesmerized by her beauty and charm. Nice role for Reeves, different from Matrix, that he repeated, although with less depth, in the Lake House (2006).

I do not have words good enough to express my admiration for Diane Keaton’s performance: she is simply amazing. While Harry really looks his 60 years, Diane Keaton could easily be 45 – I wish I can look like her when I am 60! She is just perfect and the chemistry between Keaton and Nicholson in this film is glowing and palpable and makes this fairly standard story a little gem. Great supporting cast too: Frances McDormand is hilarious as Erica’s down to earth sister, Amanda Peet is great.


An excellent moment, a lot of laughs, beautiful scenes (the house Erica lives in is literally my dream house), and two legendary actors. Excellent distraction, perfect balance between romcom and must-see. Something to keep for gloomy days, and to watch over and over again.

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