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Although a bit long for a romantic comedy, SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE ($29) is a genuine comic gem for fans of the film’s stars, not to mention that the movie sports more than its share of hilarious moments. In SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, Jack Nicholson portrays Harry Sanborn, a sixty three year old record company owner, with a penchant for dating younger women- much younger women. During a weekend outing to the Hamptons with his newest girlfriend Marin (Amanda Peet), Harry suffers a mild heart attack in her mother’s beach house. Although playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) is less than thrilled to discover that her daughter Marin is dating Harry, she is nearly horrified at the prospect at the notion of having him as her sole houseguest, while he recuperates from his heart attack.

Of course, Harry is a genuine charmer, and as they spend time together, Erica discovers that she has a lot in common with her infirmed houseguest. Another positive side effect of having Harry in her home is Dr. Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves), Harry’s handsome young physician, who takes an immediate interest in Erica. Unexpectedly, Erica goes from middle-aged divorcee with no romantic prospects to a woman with two suitors vying for her attention. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE does have some predictable moments, but Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton make them easy to overlook, not to mention they make the material sing. Nicholson is like a bottle of good wine because his performances get better with age, while Keaton plays off Nicholson beautifully- richly deserving the accolades and Academy Award nomination that the role brought her. The cast of SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE also includes Frances McDormand, Jon Favreau, Paul Michael Glaser and Rachel Ticotin.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made of SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The transfer is great, bringing out the beauty in Michael Ballhaus’ slightly diffuse cinematography. Sharpness and detail are very good; although the movie has been photographed in a way to make the performers appear more attractive than they would in a more hard-edged style. Colors are strongly rendered and appear completely stable. Blacks are pure, as are the whites, plus the contrast appears smooth. The film element used for the transfer is very, very clean, but not quite perfect. Digital compression artifacts are always very well contained.

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE comes with a standard issue comedy mix that has been encoded into 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital. The forward soundstage really dominates the sound design, with the surrounds supplying ambient and musical fill. Since SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE is pretty much dialogue driven, extraneous sonic information would have only served as a distraction anyway. The sound itself is very nicely recorded and rendered with excellent fidelity. Additionally, Hans Zimmer’s appealing musical score comes across with a rich musical quality. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the actor’s voices maintain a natural sounding timbre. A French 5.1 channel track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE features two separate audio commentaries, the first is with writer/director Nancy Meyers, producer Bruce Block and actress Diane Keaton, while the second includes Nancy Meyers and actor Jack Nicholson. Both commentaries have their strong points, but the one that features Jack Nicholson has more entertainment value, so it is definitely the one to start with. Also included is one amusing deleted scene that Nicholson fans should get a kick out of, as well as a self explanatory Hamptons House Set Tour. A few filmographies, plus a theatrical trailer and bonus trailers for BIG FISH, 13 GOING ON 30, SECRET WINDOW, SPIDER-MAN 2, ANGER MANAGEMENT, AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS and THE COMPANY close out the extras.

As a fan of both Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, I can say that thoroughly enjoyed SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE. Sure the movie is a tad long for a romantic comedy, but the stars make it easy to overlook that particular flaw. As for the DVD, it looks and sounds great, so if you want to hang out with Jack and Diane for a bit over two hours SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE is a great way to do it.



Something's Gotta Give (2003)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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