Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Something’s Gotta Give is a film that could have been written and directed only by a woman. What guy would have Hollywood’s manliest man’s man, Jack Nicholson, constantly gripping his chest, gasping for breath, and even drooling on himself after falling to the ground during an attempt to make love to a 20-something cookie? Nicholson essentially plays himself: His Harry is a 63-year-old music executive who dates only shiny young things. A Hamptons getaway at the familial beach house of his current fling, Marin (Amanda Peet), is interrupted by the appearance of her mother, successful playwright and “turtleneck kind of gal” Erica (Diane Keaton). Soon enough, a mild heart attack sends Harry to the local hospital, where his doctor (Keanu Reeves) orders him to stay close byin other words, at Erica’s houseuntil he’s feeling better. Something’s Gotta Give stumbles occasionally into the usual romantic-comedy trappingsNicholson sure falls down a lotand shows both its leads somewhat gratuitously in the buff. But this story of age-appropriate romance is nonetheless told with intelligenceand without sacrificing any of the giddiness of new relationships. And though Meyers practically canonizes Erica as the smart, interesting, funny, sexy over-50 single, Keaton makes her every second in the character credible: Lined but radiant, the actress has aged just fine from ditzy to dignified. Her whole-body dedication to her role is dazzling, whether she’s pounding on her legs during a fit of giggles or slumping all over Erica’s well-appointed house in a risky sequence of hysterics that few others could pull off. Nicholson, meanwhile, is egoless and funny as the broken playboy, and Reeves is appealing as the young buck, a fan of Erica’s work who is immediately smitten upon meeting her and doggedly pursues a relationship. When a movie can make even Keanu seem human, you know it’s doing something right.