Something’s Gotta Give

April 11, 2013

While noticeably better than As Good As It Gets, Something’s Gotta Give still holds a commercial pretense, a sense of manufactured aesthetic, that occupies the film from beginning to end. This includes a story which is not terribly captivating, but most interesting, is the presentation of the modern female’s impression of romance.


Yes, this is a chick flick. Its center is placed in the female sex. The dilemmas endured may be initiated by Jack’s character, but it nevertheless pivots around what women want. And they want love. Yet out of the family of women which Jack happens to be infused in, albeit unintentionally, there exists, effectively three single ladies: Diane Keaton’s character, Amanda Peet’s character as the daughter and initial “friend” of Jack’s character, and Diane Keaton’s sister.


After an amicable breakup – precisely synchronized with the sexual chemistry between Jack and Diane – Amana Peet’s character joins the ranks of her female relatives, seemingly lost without a reason to engage with the opposite sex other than for some vain appeal to their hormones. Something’s Gotta Give does not provide any such direction for the women. They do not dwell on why they need love – it’s granted as self-evident. Likewise, neither intently dwell on why they fail to find love, which seems to be the theme of the film. There is the interrupting injection of sound-bite answers to what seems to crudely and superficially respond to the theme. But they are empty gestures which echo.


Plausibility is very difficult to sustain here. A fling between two twilight adults is interpreted by both as genuine romance. Possibly, but if it was so simple to find a soul mate, why was there this trouble in the first place for the women? Further along the plot, Amanda Peet’s character absurdly marries and gets knocked up in record time. Granted, the film provided a faux-turning point in her life, as her mother told her to embrace getting hurt in love. Regardless, the alacrity in which individual’s couple in this film is wildly irresponsible, and is more informative of the nature of women who expect finding a partner to be as routine as shopping. It’s not.


More corroborating evidence for why this is a chick flick is the fact we never fully understand the motivations behind Jack Nicklaus. We don’t know why he never cared about love, or why something suddenly changed inside him – perhaps he is simply exhibiting a newfound fear and anxiety of being a bachelor at the age of 85. He simply slips himself into Diane Keaton’s bedroom, one which a man has barely visited in two decades, and magically becomes transformed. (Was the sex really that good?)


This returns us to the fact that there is no basis for the quality time the two spent with each other as something cosmically designed. Instead, it reflects a plot which reaches farther than it can grasp. It is entertainment, granted, but mindless entertainment for the female mind. In other words, it is not intended to provoke nor challenge, but to indulge in female fantasy. And what better way than for a woman past her prime to snag an eligible bachelor – while having a hunky young doctor on the side – who loves her for her personality; even more pressingly, loving her personality despite having a reputation for dating extremely young? Is this not the fantasy of every divorced woman in existence?


Grade: C



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