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Something s Gotta Give

Something’s Gotta Give on DVD

It’s hard to make a romantic comedy that most guys don’t mind watching.

It has to have enough of the comedy to make up for so much of the romance. The better the comedy to romance ratio, the more tolerable it is for men.

Something’s Gotta Give starts off well enough, but gets 'way too chicky-flicky by the end.

Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial playboy who has a reputation for dating (much) younger women. But when he heads to his latest girlfriend’s mother’s Hamptons beach house and starts getting chest pains, he ends up being nursed back to health by – you guessed it – his latest girlfriend’s mother, Erica (Diane Keaton). Even though the two begin at war with each other (or maybe because of it), the romantic comedy formula must be fulfilled so, reluctantly at first, the two start to fall for each other.

Harry isn’t quick to make his move, so the handsome doctor (Keanu Reeves) steps in and starts to pursue Erica. Harry finds his life unraveling, and everybody learns a little something about themselves and about each other. Nice, huh?

Nancy Meyers also wrote and directed What Women Want, which is one of the more enjoyable romantic comedies out there. Something’s Gotta Give has plenty of laughs for the first little while, and then gets all wishy washy for the rest. It does its best to make us chuckle, but the romance is too overpowering. And at 128 minutes, it crosses the line to being too long.

Diane Keaton received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her performance. She does an excellent job of playing the slightly stuck up, age-appropriate woman who thinks Harry's lifestyle is appalling. Jack Nicholson, on the other hand, plays Jack Nicholson. He does what he does and he does it well, but there are other actors out there who are better.

Something’s Gotta Give is a girl-friendly romantic comedy. Guys may find it too icky, but there are a lot of worse ones we could be forced to sit through. As such, then, it's an excellent "compromise movie" you can watch before making her sit through T3.

While not billed as a special edition, the DVD for Something’s Gotta Give is more special than some. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (16x9 TV compatible) picture is crisp and clear, with rich colors, plenty of whites that don’t drown anything out, and very little grain. The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio makes good use of the front channels, but the rear speakers don’t have much to do. It’s a dialogue-heavy film with a powerful score that fills the room nicely.

Nancy Meyers, Diane Keaton and producer Bruce A. Block provide one of the two audio commentaries for the film. It’s entertaining, if professional, and it features a lot of information. The second commentary is again by Meyers, but this time she’s joined by none other than Mr. Nicholson himself. It’s not as good as the first track, but it’s nice to see stars as big as Nicholson doing commentaries.

There is also a deleted scene featuring Harry singing karaoke to Erica, and it’s easy to see why it was cut. Not that it’s a bad scene, it’s just unnecessary (like several other scenes that are still in the film). Other features include a Hamptons House Set Tour with Amanda Peet that runs only a few minutes, and some theatrical trailers.

Something’s Gotta Give, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
128 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, Jon Favreau
Produced by Bruce A. Block
Written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers


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