Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial playboy with a libido much younger than his years. During what was to have been a romantic weekend with his latest infatuation, Marin (Amanda Peet), at her mother's Hamptons beach house, Harry develops chest pains. He winds up being nursed by Marin's reluctant mother Erica Barry (Diane Keaton), a successful, divorced New York playwright. In the process, Harry develops more heart pangs -- the romantic kind -- for Erica, an age-appropriate woman whom he finds beguiling. However, some habits die hard. When Harry hesitates, his charming thirty something doctor (Keanu Reeves) steps in and starts to pursue Erica. And Harry, who has always had the world on a string, finds his life unraveling.
As upscale sitcoms go, Something's Gotta Give
has more to offer than most romantic comedies. Obviously working through some semi-autobiographical issues regarding "women of a certain age," writer-director Nancy Meyers brings adequate credibility and above-average intelligence to what is essentially (but not exclusively) a fantasy premise, in which an aging lothario who's always dated younger women (Jack Nicholson, more or less playing himself) falls for a successful middle-aged playwright (Diane Keaton) who's convinced she's past the age of romance, much less sexual re-awakening. As long as old pals Nicholson and Keaton are on screen discussing their dilemma or discovering their mutual desire, Something's Gotta Give
is terrific, proving (in case anyone had forgotten) that Hollywood can and should aim for an older demographic. Myers falls short with the sitcom device of a younger lover (Keanu Reeves) who wants Keaton as much as Nicholson does; it's believable but shallow and too easily dismissed. Myers also skimps on supporting roles for Frances McDormand, Amanda Peet, and Jon Favreau, but thankfully this is one romantic comedy that doesn't pander to youth. Mature viewers, rejoice! --Jeff Shannon