Something’s Gotta Give (2003)

(In theaters, March 2004) After so many years of increasingly unlikely Hollywood romances between decrepit men and nubile starlets, it was about time that someone did a movie about it. Enters writer/director Nancy Meyers, along with pitch-perfect leads Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. For the first hour or so, Something’s Gotta Give is a whole lot of fun: Diane Keaton is frumpy-sexy, Jack Nicholson does his best-ever impression of Jack Nicholson and there’s plenty of amusing material. But then the beach house setting is discarded (breaking unity of setting), everything becomes a lot more complicated and the last act drags on for so long that viewers are likely to shout “Something’s gotta give, already!” It’s said that audiences will forgive anything as long as you give them a happy ending, but the one in Something’s Gotta Give is so unlikely that it feels like a cheat. There is little doubt that the script is about a third too long; some judicious cutting (and a better use of secondary characters played by Jon Favreau and Frances McDormand, both of whom disappear when they’re most needed) would have made this a snappier, more believable film. As it currently stands, it’s self-indulgent and often dull. But at least it’s got something to say about those creepy May-October Hollywood relationships.

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