Trying to make 'Something' out of nothing

BY HUSSAIN RAHIM
Daily Arts Writer
Published April 11, 2004

The success of “Something’s Gotta Give” did a
few things: It brought Diane Keaton a film with a $100 million
gross, a Best Actress nomination, reinforced the idea of the
middle-aged romantic comedy and gave Keanu Reeves a role that
wasn’t in the matrix. Although not all of these were
positive, they all came together in this one picture, which is now
available on DVD.

Film Reviews

Written and directed by Nancy Myers, “Something’s
Gotta Give” is intermittently funny but overall flat and
propelled by a series of unlikely events that seem too rigorously
constructed. The film was wisely billed as a Keaton vehicle as she,
portaying the likable Erica, displayed levels of screen charm not
seen since the days of “Annie Hall.” Frances McDormand
gives an uncharacteristically upbeat and charming performance as
Erica’s impish sister Zoe. Unfortunatly Jack Nicholson phones
in a caricature of himself: an old man preying on younger
women.

After his latest conquest, Harry (Nicholson) goes to the Hampton
home of his girlfriend Marin (Amanda Peet) where he encounters her
mother, Erica. They establish a mutual but reluctant interest in
each other. Throughout the course of the movie, they court and
annoy each other in equal parts all while moving toward the
necessary happy romantic comedy ending despite the inclusion of a
love triangle with Reeves.

The film’s over two hour runtime is a bit excessive for a
romantic comedy, and with its formulaic development and hit-or-miss
humor it doesn’t always captivate.

The special features are thin, including with an aimless tour of
the Hamptons with Amanda Peet. With the acknowledgement that 45
minutes of the film were cut, one would expect more than one
deleted scene in the extras. The two audio commentaries are
interesting insider views of the film. Keaton’s
self-deprecating humor gives an amusing insight into the movie as
well as her own personality. Although a mixed bag, Keaton’s
return is welcome and “Something’s Gotta Give” is
a worthwhile addition to anyone’s DVD collection.

 

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars.

Features: 2.5 out of 5 stars.