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Something's Gotta Give (2003)

From the director of ‘What Women Want’

Directed by:

Nancy Meyers

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 128 minutes

UK Certificate: 12A

Country: United States

Given its much-acclaimed cast, and indeed the performances most of them manage to produce, the inexplicably-named ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is a major disappointment. It’s a rom-com aimed squarely at the oldies – and of course there’s nothing at all wrong with that. In fact, that’s exactly the angle that should provide this flick with all the refreshing appeal it needs. Instead, writer and director Nancy Meyers gives us over two hours of what can only be described as sheer boredom.

Diane Keaton, wise-but-slightly-wrinkly woman that she is, stars as divorced playwright Erica Barry. One day she arrives home at her sickeningly perfect home in the Hamptons to find a fat old man in his undies rooting around in her fridge. He’s Harry (the increasingly-bloated and generally unhealthy-looking Jack Nicholson) and, to Erica’s disbelief, he’s the new boyfriend of her pretty-but-dull daughter Marin (Amanda Peet). Of course, a heart attack or two later and the young ‘un is punted in order for the grown-ups to make eyes at each other, and more besides.

Both of the two leads are exactly as reliable as you’d expect (though it has to be said that Keaton’s Oscar nom for this seems a little OTT), but there’s precious little chemistry between the two of them in their shared scenes. As a result, it’s tough to care about how the pair of them end up together in the first place, let alone what happens at the end of its painfully over-drawn resolution.

Quite simply, I’m just bored of stuff like this – particularly when, as in this case, it drags turgidly on for more than 120 minutes. I do believe romantic comedies still have something to offer, as re-imaginings of the genre such as Lost In Translation and Punch Drunk Love have shown. But ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, as much as I wanted to enjoy it, is a dire piece of cinema, with very few decent jokes to help break-up its ridiculously self-indulgent running time.

If you’re after a Jack Nicholson movie with a similar tone and genre, but vastly superior characters, humour and storyline, rent As Good As It Gets instead. It wipes the floor with this one.”

It's Got: Keanu Reeves, as Keaton’s would-be toy boy, showing more spark in around 20 minutes of screen time than he did in 4 hours-worth of tedious ‘Matrix’ sequels.

It Needs: More laughs, less minutes.

Alternatives:

About Schmidt, As Good As It Gets, You've Got Mail

Summary

Big cast, great expectations, huge disappointment.

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