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Something's Gotta Give

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
Something's Gotta Give

from Film Forum, 12/18/03

Religious press critics have mixed reviews for the new romantic comedy starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

Nicholson plays Harry, a man with a taste for women much younger than himself. When he meets Erica, the mother of his latest conquest, he finds himself inspired to act his age and explore the idea of a healthy and mature relationship. But just as he begins to learn his lesson, Erica finds herself attracted to a much younger man.

Religious press critics express dismay at the behavior of these reckless adults. But some notice that there is indeed some truth in what the characters learn from each other.

Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) says, "These characters … are all adults who feel free to embark on affairs without taking any moral considerations into account." And yet, she concludes that it is "a rather entertaining tale of the battle of the sexes taken from a middle-aged perspective."

Holly McClure (Crosswalk) admits, "Although I enjoyed the movie for the many truisms it has in it and I laughed at many parts, the overall theme was very depictive of our culture today. It's sad when the word 'love' is thrown around so casually."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says, "While it is true that many of the jokes come from sexual references or situations, it would be a mistake to think that there isn't a deeper or richer vein of comedy that gets mined here. One of the elements that makes aging more tolerable is to do it with someone else. Harry, for all his womanizing, runs the risk of growing old alone unless he can learn to invest an emotional, mental, and physical commitment into a relationship instead of a series of dates."

Dick Staub (Culture Watch) says, "The story functions as a manifesto for committed relationships and as a sad commentary on the pain inflicted by physical intimacy without relationship, and on the consequences of impermanence resulting from divorce. It also explores the fears and possibilities of ageing, especially in light of Harry's 'brush with immortality.' Harry is a man of great insights and complete obtuseness at the same time."

Mainstream critics are giving special attention to Diane Keaton's performance, as she apparently manages to steal the show from the incomparable Nicholson.