Monday, January 05, 2004

REVIEW: Something's Gotta Give

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 3 January 2004 at AMC Fenway #3 (first-run)

Something's Gotta Give isn't a bad movie; that 2¾-star rating puts it somewhat above average. Its characters are likable, there's good chemistry between Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, and the laughs are full-sized ones. It peaks too soon, though, and the second half of the movie feels like just going through the motions. We all know Nicholson's Harry and Keaton's Erica are going to wind up together, so why reintroduce Keanu Reeves? His character is pleasant enough, but he's also an obvious, contrived obstacle.

There's something vaguely wasteful about how some of the supporting characters are used in this movie, too - Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, Reeves, and Frances McDormand have all been leads at various points in their careers, and that gives their interactions with the main characters some strength, but by not tapping their potential, writer/director Nancy Meyers has nowhere to go when the main plot is beginning to drag. And it does drag; about a half hour could be cut out of its 128 minutes and not be missed. Say, that entire montage of Keaton's character laughing, crying, crying, writing, crying some more, laughing-that-turns-into-crying...

I don't want to be too harsh. Something's Gotta Give has a lot to offer - good performances, funny scenes, a likable romance, and some worthwhile thoughts on two mature individuals falling in love. If they could have just gotten the pacing right, it could have been a real winner.

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