"Something's Gotta Give" is an odd example of a romantic comedy. It's cute, predictable, and ultimately makes you smile without much question. If anything, it has the bases of any other example of the genre. Yet, there's magic going on here, and everything clicks. Whether or not it can be credited to writer/director Nancy Meyers, who obviously has the knowledge on how to create the look and feel of a romantic comedy, or the exciting pairing of Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, it doesn't matter. "Something's Gotta Give" is just plain good.
At first glance, Nicholson seems to be playing himself here. He portrays Harry Sanborn, a 63-year old record company executive who can't be called "aging" because he's always lived the same way: he dates women several years his junior, ones that are young bimbos looking for fun.
Harry's womanizing ways are well-known, as he covered the New York Times magazine because he's sort of, "The Escape Artist." But Harry is likable, not some jerk we instantly hate. He's smart, funny, and knows exactly what people want to hear.
His latest conquest is Marin Barry (Amanda Peet), a young woman who is beautiful but far from a floozy. For a weekend getaway, she takes Harry to her mother, Erica's (Keaton) beach house in the Hampton's, since Erica is away. As it turns out, this doesn't happen; Erica, and Marin's aunt (Frances McDormand) are there, and immediately have their own idea of the man that Harry is.
But in the middle of a make-out fest with Marin, Harry has a heart-attack, and is rushed to the hospital. His doctor (Keanu Reeves) develops a crush of the accompanying Erica quickly; to make matters worse, everyone, with the exception of Erica, plans to travel back to the city. So Harry and Erica end up spending the next few days together, with surprisingly good results.
It's such a pleasure to see Nicholson and Keaton together again that "Something's Gotta Give" already has a good reason to be watched. But luckily, it isn't one of those films that's fun but that's all. Not only is it memorably honest, but it's intelligent. Myers, whose writing is a nice mixture of sweet and witty, gently satirizes Nicholson's public image as a ladies man, with surprisingly endearing results. Later on in the film, we see a gentler side of the character, which makes us realize that in the end, Nicholson might not be as bad as we thought.
He has believable chemistry with Keaton, most likely because they seem so opposite. While Nicholson always appears smooth and confident, Keaton is neurotic and appears uncomfortable with social situations. Keaton's little quirks (which always makes her lovable) resonate nicely on the screen, and it's easy to see why she is so intrigued by the prospect of Nicholson's character.
In the end, you could watch "Something's Gotta Give" several times and it could still entertain you. Nicholson and Keaton are timeless; so is the film.