Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Something's Gotta Give

To get a few things out of the way, Something's gotta give has the worst trailer I've ever seen, rivalling even Moulin Rouge. And while, claiming to be a film about an older woman, it unintentionally ends up endorsing views that are, uh, contrary to its intentions. (I guess we probably have to wait till Roger Mitchell's The Mother is released) Lets just say that it tells me that most post-menopausal women in their fifties better stick to someone their own age (or older, for that matter) rather than going for younger handsome hunky doctors (Keanu Reeves gives a performance that I can only call delicious). And oh, you really don't stand much chance unless you look like Diane Keaton (who gives new dimensions to the word gorgeous). And that wierd title!!! Couldn't they even think of anything else?

I wasn't thinking of these things when I actually did see the movie though. The movie is pat, predictable, filled with romantic musical montages, but I enjoyed it. Writer-director Nancy Meyers gives her actors dialogue that has a sitcommy feeling, but you end up liking it just the same. After a customary meta-session, where both characters (Keaton and Nicholson) recite each other's biographies, Keaton says "The truth is, it all goes by real fast, doesn't it?". He replies, "Yeah, in the blink of an eye.". I wonder if Keaton and Nicholson were thinking about themselves when they said it but whatever may be the case, the moment strikes a poignant chord. And then there is an oddly hilarious post-coitus scene, where both of them start sobbing. The crying is played for laughs, but its oddly touching.

Nicholson and Keaton are unparalled comic actors. And, without sounding too pompous, the best comic acting is one where the dialogue is played for laughs but the underlying sadness comes out. I've never seen Nicholson give a sweeter performance and as for Keaton, the best thing to say is that she is the indisputable star of the movie, that was essentially designed to show her off.

After their parting, Harry hears about a play that Erica has written that is ostensibly about their own relationship. And they have a wry understated conversation.

she: what did we have? i'd like to know......
he: can i email it to you when i figure it out?

she: you worry about me?
he: yes, honey, the schmuck, who deserves to *die*, worries about u
she: doll, i'm doing great...so you dont have to....

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