Go to Homepage   Something's Gotta Give: Sophisticated Romance

  Crescent Blues Movie Views

Columbia Tri-Star (DVD), ASIN B0001AVZA8

This ain't As Good as It Gets, but the video of Something's Gotta Give provides a perfect addition to a weekend orgy of romantic films.

Perennial playboy, Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson, As Good as It Gets), has everything at age 63 -- money, freedom and young women throwing themselves into his arms. He and his latest young honey, Marin (Amanda Peet, High Crimes) head for her momma's beach house in the Hamptons for a weekend rendezvous. In mid-strip tease, they discover momma, the celebrated playwright Erika Barry (Diane Keaton, Annie Hall), and feminist professor aunt Zoe (Frances McDormand, Fargo) already in residence.

The strain of two older women and a sexy young thing under one roof overcomes Harry who they rush to the hospital with a heart attack. The hot young doctor, Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves, Matrix), treats Harry and falls for Erika. Unable to travel, Harry must remain at the beach house. Erika provides his care while writing her latest play. Complications arise when Erika and Harry start to fall in love.

somethings gotta giveDirector, writer and producer Nancy Meyers (Private Benjamin, What Women Want) stays true to her goals of producing comedies with strong female characters. Keaton holds her own in every scene with Nicholson and demonstrates her perfect comedic timing once again, giving us glimpses of the stellar performance that won her an Oscar in Annie Hall and garnered a Golden Globe for this film. Peet turns in a convincing performance, demonstrating that a young woman can be likeable, troubled and beautiful. Sadly McDormand's delightful role as second banana to Keaton all but disappears after the first act. As for Keanu Reeves, I always want to give him more screen time.

I fell in love with the beach house and watch the video repeatedly for decorating tips. I appreciate the little techniques that add to the romantic story line: the discussion of older women's plight, using black and white to symbolize the differences or the distance between Erika and Harry (as demonstrated in the beach pebbles Erika collects), and ways an older woman makes a rich, new life without a man. The mother-daughter relationship offered a refreshing healthy connection. And I found Marin's job as an auctioneer at Christy's a delightful detour from the usual jobs given sweet young things. I even appreciate knowing that Viagra and nitroglycerin don't mix.

Sometimes the reach for a laugh appears a bit strained. And Diane Keaton sometimes appears too much as Diane Keaton rather than Erika Barry. Those glitches aside, women of a certain age will appreciate a movie that depicts menopausal women enjoying sex and attracting hot men. This simple, sexy, sophisticated romp proves that old dogs can learn new tricks and old broads can teach 'em.

Dawn Goldsmith

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