Wednesday, September 6, 2023


 by Adam Riske

Winner for “Best Grownup Love Story” (Diane Keaton & Jack Nicholson) at the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards.

• Best Scene/Moment: When Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton are hanging out in her kitchen after they’ve slept together for the first time. It’s a rare instance in movies of seeing realistic intimacy and the two actors have amazing chemistry together.

• Best Song: “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos.
• Best Merch: A “Diane Keaton Signed Autographed Something’s Gotta Give Movie Script…” for $149.50. I like to get celebrities' autographs but seeing Diane Keaton’s signature sort of puts in perspective how silly it can seem to spend money on them sometimes. Look at this, this is the laziest scribbling possible.

• Director Check: Something’s Gotta Give was directed by writer-producer-director Nancy Meyers. Meyers began her film career as a writer and producer, often collaborating on projects (such as Private Benjamin, Baby Boom, and the 1991 Father of the Bride remake with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton) with her then husband Charles Shyer. The two divorced and Meyers struck out on her own as a filmmaker beginning with 1998’s well-received remake of The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. Meyers then became one of the most successful directors in Hollywood for a few years and cornered the market on mid-to-high budget, luxurious looking, star-driven romantic comedies for grownups with films like 2000’s What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give (which was a big hit both critically and financially and netted an Academy Award nomination for Diane Keaton), 2006’s The Holiday, and 2009 It’s Complicated. My favorite movie of Nancy Meyers is 2015’s The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, which was an intentional departure for Meyers from romantic comedy. Since then, Meyers has produced Home Again starring Reese Witherspoon (and directed by Meyers’s daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer) and directing an odd, Zoom-camera short film threequel to the Father of the Bride series for Netflix in 2020. There were rumors recently that Meyers had a romantic comedy project kicking around between studios starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, and Owen Wilson. I hope it sees the light of day eventually.

• Double It with This 2003 Movie: Down with Love

• Year 2003 Movies to Trailer Before It: Bringing Down the House, Intolerable Cruelty, Love Actually

Draft Day or Something’s Gotta Give? Draft Day
• Mall Movie? Definitely not. The characters in this movie have never been to a mall in their entire lives so playing this at the mall would be folly.

• Only in 2003: Opening credits set to “Butterfly” by Crazy Town.

• Scene Stealer: Keanu Reeves. He’s so damn charming in this.

• I Miss: Being naive enough to think one day I too would be Nancy Meyers character level wealthy.

• I Don’t Miss (tie): The blinding whiteness of it all. The clothes, the houses, the actors, the attitude. It’s not the biggest deal I suppose, but it’s hard to ignore. Also, I don’t love the trope of the protagonist dumping the “wrong person” off-screen so they can be rewarded with true love in the final scene. It seems cowardly and cold in movies like Something’s Gotta Give or Serendipity to not work in that scene when it can even be a sweet or funny moment (look at Meg Ryan and Greg Kinnear breaking up in You’ve Got Mail as an example).
• 2003 Crush (tie): Diane Keaton and Amanda Peet.

• 2023 Crush (tie): Diane Keaton and Amanda Peet.

• What I Thought in 2003: I remember being surprised that I liked Something’s Gotta Give as much as I did. It was a good date movie and a great breather from the more somber, serious-minded films that were being released during the 2003 holiday season.

• What I Think in 2023: I might like Something’s Gotta Give more now that I’m in my 40s than when I did in my 20s. Nancy Meyers movies are fun to luxuriate in and in an age where movie stardom is discounted, it’s great to watch two great actors (Nicholson and Keaton) vibe off each other and carry a movie on their charisma.

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