Buy This Film
2003
Rated: R for sexual content, brief nudity and strong language.
Genre: Romance Comedy
Directed By: Nancy Meyer
Running Time: 2:13
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
DVD Features:
Audio Commentaries - 1. Director & Cast
Trailers
"Hamptons House Set Tour" With Amanda Peet
Deleted "Karaoke" Scene
Filmographies

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE

 

In this recycled redux of "As Good as it Gets" and "Annie Hall", stars Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton and geezers looking for love in all the wrong places. Ah, don't you hate when that happens? Is this similar to "As Good as It Gets"? Well, let's look at the clues, shall we? A one liner title which is a catchphrase, both snappy in its delivery, the same light and airy yet dysfunctional mood, the same physical comedy, and Jack Nicholson yet again play Jack Nicholson with his smarmy, promiscuous dirty old man routine and still creepy "I'm going to mutilate you" grin, whose character is so blunt he's offensive to women who gasp at his comments. And boy is there a lot of gasping, especially by such yawn inducing comments that didn't shock me, it just made me furrow my brows at why Keaton's character was so offended. I expected her to say "Well I never!" to which I replied in a Groucho Marx voice "Well, you should, it's fun!"

So, here there be similarities, and, oh, both are godly overrated. Tis true, "As Good as It Gets" was so artificially sweet I didn't like it, and it's the same deal here. Nicholson with his usual overt Frank behavior, a woman who wants him to love her, but he can't quite commit. Why was this even in the Oscar ballot? I'm shocked, I'm very shocked. We go through this utterly exhausting love triangle after love triangle between Nicholson, Keaton, Reeves, and Peet, an utterly annoying and clearly vapid storyline between people that have no personality and come off as completely unlikable. Case in point, Peet who is a very broadly sketched character. Is she a sexy risque type of person, or is she just lost looking for love? Who knows?

Keaton who was given a very undeserved Oscar nod plays playwright Erica Barry, a woman whose hardly ever seen writing on her computer unless it pertains to the convenience of the story. Erica is an obnoxious character, probably one of the most obnoxious I've seen in years. She's a mixture of old romantic comedy heroine cliches that went most unwelcome in this department. She yells and screeches and howls at every other moment in the film, and is just not likable as a heroine. Why should we give a crap about this woman? The writer dont give us enough of a reason other than "She's Diane Keaton! And She's a woman!" to which I merely scoffed arrogantly.

Yeah, Keaton didn't deserve an Oscar nod. Her character is over the top, and she's over the top in her performance. Take for example, the one sequence, the one really long sequence after Nicholson's character dumps Erica after a night of geezer sex confessing he can't love
a woman. There's this incredibly obnoxious sequence that actually made me angry in which Keaton's character is inspired by the break up and begins her new play to which she begins screaming and crying, and screaming and crying non-stop for five minutes as she writes the play of her career. Was this supposed to be funny? Inspiring? No, it was a horribly done "Girl Power" scene and it honestly made me want to smash my television with my foot. I had to mute my television because it's such an exaggerated sequence, because, as a writer, I'd know how the creative process is, and I do not scream and/or cry whenever I'm in the mode of writing a new novel. I'm in the midst of a new one right now, and I haven't screamed once.

There's obviously a pro-feminist tone here from director-writer Nancy Meyer who manages to convey some annoying pro-feminist overtones within her characters. Keaton's character is supposed to be likable (she isn't), Peet's character is supposed to be her equivalent, the more daring and extroverted daughter, and there's Frances McDormand's part. "What?" You say? "Frances McDormand is in the movie?!" Yep, she sure is, sunshine, and if you look
close enough you can spot her. Unfortunately her acting talents are put to waste in a meaningless role as a plot device. She was supposed to be, I assume, the more daring free-spirited sister, but alas, she's only in the film for twenty minutes and then disappears halfway through. Boo, Meyers, Boo! Way to under-develop a character!

And then there's Keanu Reeves who only appears in the movie when it's convenient for the plot and for the eventual uniting of the two main characters. The men are depicted awful here, as you'd guess in a feminism toting film such as this. Reeves is only in the film for two purposes. 1. to hit on Keaton's character to make older women swoon and think "That could happen to me", and 2. to serve as an obstacle for Nicholson. You're more than dumb if you thought Reeves' would end up with her in the end. Nicholson's character is a jerk-off basically and serves no purpose here but to make women hate him; he's not funny and is supposed to be a record exec who never goes to work. How odd.

Then when we've had enough the film goes on wa-a-ay too long with the storyline and it just never knows when to quit. It goes for the safe ending. Rather than Meyers' going for an ending that would have been bittersweet, it goes for the safe ending that just made me kick myself for wasting time on such a stupid movie.

This is an overrated, ridiculously overblown piece of crap ruined by Diane Keaton's overacting, Nicholson's same old acting, and a far-fetched plot that I never gave a lick of shit about. This is an awful movie.

 

 

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