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Something’s Got to Give (2006)

Somehow I missed this “rom com for wrinklies” when it was released but it came on the radar in the Sky Arts Discovering Frances McDormand programme.

The stars are Hollywood royalty Jack Nicholson, playing 63 year-old music mogul and superannuated lothario Harry Seaburn and Diane Keaton as playwright Erica Barry.

Harry initially dates Erica’s daughter Marin (Amada Pete).

He suffers a false alarm heart attack and is treated by doctor Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves) who falls in love with Erica.

However, it is the affaire between Harry and Erica which is the essential relationship of the film.

Jack Nicholson takes himself off to reveal what a talented comedian he is too, whilst Diane Keaton is arguably the funniest actress ever.

She was brilliant in Annie Hall, in which Woody Allen has the best lines, and although she is a West coast girl she is indelibly associated with New York. Her chemistry with Jack Nicholson is terrific in this movie

Frances McDormand shows what a fine actress she is as feminist academic Zoe, sister of Erica.

The director and writer is Nancy Meyers, whose considerable work includes Private Benjamin.  

She is clearly influenced by French cinema.

The soundtrack contains many French classics including La Vie en Rose; food and meals play an important role and the final scene is on the Pont Neuf overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

Most of the film is however shot in Erica’s palatial East Hamptons home.

It’s hard to criticise the film.  You may not like “rom com” and – if Jack Nicholson sends himself up – you feel Diane Keaton still wants to show that after fifty she is still attractive to men.

Rather than dialogue, there often is email communication.

This is a perfect film for a flat winner ‘s night.

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About Neil Rosen

Neil went to the City of London School and Manchester University graduating with a 1st in economics. After a brief stint in accountancy, Neil emigrated to a kibbutz In Israel. His articles on the burgeoning Israeli film industry earned comparisons to Truffaut and Godard in Cahiers du Cinema. Now one of the world's leading film critics and moderators at film Festivals Neil has written definitively in his book Kosher Nostra on Jewish post war actors. Neil lives with his family in North London. More Posts