A/V Room









Something's Gotta Give - Preview & US reaction

Preview by: Jack Foley

JACK Nicholson still has what it takes to bring in the ladies, it seems.

His latest film, Something’s Gotta Give, about a 63-year-old womaniser who becomes involved with a 55-year-old playwright (Diane Keaton) against his better judgement, took top spot at the US Box Office when it opened in December, knocking Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai off the summit after just one week.

The romantic comedy earned a healthy $17m (£9.74m) during its debut weekend, at a time when the majority of audiences were being perceived as ‘lying in wait’ for the Return of the King.

Something's Gotta Give is directed by Nancy Meyers (What Women Want), and co-stars Keanu Reeves, as a young doctor who falls for Keaton, and Amanda Peet, as Nicholson’s current girlfriend.

The film marks the first on-screen reunion for Nicholson and Keaton since Reds, and has drawn considerable acclaim from critics in America, who have hailed it as a genuinely funny comedy about adult relationships.

Both Nicholson and Keaton have landed Golden Globe nominations for best actor and best actress in a musical or comedy.

In other related trivia, Something's Gotta Give marks the fourth time that Keaton has appeared in a movie written by Meyers, following the two Father of the Bride movies and Baby Boom (which she starred in).

But this is Meyers' first produced project as a solo screenwriter, after a 15-plus year career as half of a cowriting team, with her husband, Charles Shyer (they've been separated since 1998).

His latest project since their separation was The Affair of the Necklace, which Shyer directed and produced, and Meyers executive produced.

The movie is due to open in the UK early in the New Year and, from its trailer alone, looks to be great fun, with Nicholson on terrific form.

US reaction

Leading the tributes is CNN, which described it as ‘sharp, witty, and deep-down funny, Something's Gotta Give is one of the best adult romantic comedies of the year - or the last few years, for that matter’.

The Chicago Sun-Times opined that ‘Keaton and Nicholson bring so much experience, knowledge and humor to their characters that the film works in ways the screenplay might not have even hoped for’.

And the Hollywood Reporter found it to be ‘a fluffy but funny menopausal chick flick’.

The Washington Post declared that ‘the film Meyers has fashioned is generally quite amusing, with a brilliant cast.’

While the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that ‘with the likes of Nicholson, Keaton, Reeves and Peet - and a fleeting, funny few minutes with McDormand - Something's Gotta Give is never less than entertaining’.

The New York Observer, meanwhile, referred to it as a ‘comedy of manners (and mannerisms) with two of the most mannered movie stars of our time, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, acting all over the place until you surrender with the ecstasy of pure pleasure’.

And Entertainment Weekly concluded its review by asking ‘but really, seriously, what woman wouldn't want to be Keaton, all sexy, funny, tender, quick, and never more charismatic in her animated access to her own feelings? And what man, of any age, wouldn't want to be with her?’

Even the New York Times raved, stating that ‘Mr Nicholson has the gentlemanly grace to step aside and let Ms. Keaton claim the movie. She in turn brings out the best in everyone around her’.

There was the odd negative notice, with LA Weekly referring to it as ‘no more than a coy wish list for all the women who ever wanted to bring Jack Nicholson to heel’.

But, in the main, the good notices, more than anything, helped the film to the number one spot.

Hence, the Chicago Tribune rounds off this overview with the following: "Nicholson, with his swagger and cunning, and Keaton, with her nerves and off-kilter timing, show us why the old-style romantic comedies worked and why they can work just as well in an age of sexual candor."

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