Thursday, February 19, 2009

DVD: Something's Gotta Give

Director: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves
Year made: 2003

Breaking news: people surprisingly retain romantic inclinations beyond the age of 60. Nancy Meyers seems to have only just stumbled across the concept and is keen to share the revelation...

As a romantic comedy, Something’s Gotta Give is at the very least enthusiastic, but suffers from Meyers’ naivety at every critical juncture; what could be an enlightening story about mature lovers is undermined by her determination to reduce it to what’s essentially a clumsy game of playground kiss chase.

Jack Nicholson is to all intents and purposes playing a parody of his own persona, refined by a decade lacking in diverse roles for the once great and daring actor. He has his moments, which will force a smile on your face, but it is always tinged with the feeling that you’ve seen it before.

How on earth Diane Keaton was nominated by the Academy for Best Actress is quite beyond us, but not half as much as the fact she beat out Scarlett Johansson to the Golden Globe. It is a shallow, unimpressive display that is utterly reliant on her
twinkling smile and eyes.

Neither, though, are helped by a woefully predictable script that ticks all the genre boxes in such unashamed fashion that it will leave you cringing every step of the way. This is only heightened by the fact that Meyers’ criminally shit film goes on and on and on for over two hours, sucking your will to live in the process.

At first glance, the collection of extras appears respectable. Closer inspection reveals them to be in perfect keeping with the wishy-washy nature of the main feature. Meyers proves to be astonishingly dull in both commentaries and is completely out of her depth next to the charm and wit of Nicholson, who doggedly attempts to bring a little fun to proceedings, happily chirping away sharing little anecdotes and pearls of wisdom.

One deleted scene in this case is not nearly enough and if they had made the film with DVD in mind they could have beefed this extra up by at least 30 minutes. As for the one featurette, the less said the better quite frankly.

Sorry to say but this package is utterly derivative and wholly unfunny.

Film: 1 star
Extras: 2 stars

Special features:
• Audio commentary by writer/director Meyers, star Keaton and producer Bruce A Block
• Audio commentary by writer/director Meyers and star Nicholson
• 'Harry Sings Karaoke To Erica' deleted scene
• 'Hamptons House Set Tour With Amanda Peet' featurette (3 mins)
• Cast and crew filmographies

If you like this why not try...
As Good As It Gets
A funnier, more satisfying turn from Nicholson.

This review first appeared in DVD Review issue #64