Film review: Something’s Gotta Give (2003), directed by Nancy Meyers
Ageing music mogul Harry Saborn (Jack Nicholson) is the kind of man who has never dated any woman above the age of 30, preferably not older than 25. He’s not the one for commitment. His latest conquest is the young and vivacious Marin (Amanda Peet), and they decide to spend a weekend at her mum’s beach house, thinking they’ll be all alone.
Marin’s mum is the successful playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton), and she has decided to pick that very same weekend to get away and get some writing done in the peace and quiet at her beach house. She has a play to write, but writer’s block is rearing its ugly head.
Of course, as it turns out, they have to share the house. It’s weird for Erica, seeing as how her daughter’s obnoxious boyfriend is older than she is herself.
When Harry has a heart-attack – when he and Marin are about to have a bit of how’s-yer-father, no less – doctor’s orders are to rest. Reluctantly, he stays with an even more reluctant Erica. They don’t get along, they’re like cat and dog, and yet there’s a spark between them. Right?
Also starring Frances McDormand as Erica’s sister Zoe, Jon Favreau as Leo, Harry’s assistant, and Keanu Reeves as Dr Julian Mercer – a fan of Erica’s, as it turns out, and he admires her for more than just the plays she writes.
This film is special to me. Not because it’s a very enjoyable romcom, but because when Mr T first came over to Sweden to meet me, we went to Gothenburg and ended up going to the cinema – seeing this very film. I’m not sure if it was our first date or not, but it’s at least one of the first times we went out together. That’s why I’m sure I was given this film on DVD as a gift from him later on, and why I’m a bit miffed that I couldn’t find it in time to re-watch it before today. Instead, I’m relying on memory from a partial watch when it was on TV not that long ago.
When it comes to romcoms, I have a few demands: they need to be suitably romantic with enough escapism to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, and they need to be funny, because if they’re not, they shouldn’t call themselves romantic comedies. Something’s Gotta Give manages to be hilarious in parts, and the rest of the time at least amusing, and it definitely does the romance very well too.
The doctor falling in love with his older idol is adorable. Marin is adorable. Harry and Erica trying to get along is brilliant, and the two actors play their parts beautifully. The film is warm, delightful, light-hearted and full of charm. Sure, it might be targeted to a slightly older crowd than me and Mr T were at the time (early-to-mid-20s), but we still both really enjoyed it.
4.2 out of 5 Eiffel towers.