Something's Gotta Give (2003)

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Released 27-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Nancy Meyers (Writer/Director),Diane Keaton, Bruce A. Block
Audio Commentary-Nancy Meyers (Writer/Director), Jack Nicholson
Featurette-Something Romantic About The Story
Featurette-Hamptons House Set Tour With Amanda Peet
Deleted Scenes-Harry Sings Karaoke To Erica
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 123:02
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:18) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nancy Meyers

Warner Home Video
Starring Jack Nicholson
Diane Keaton
Frances McDormand
Keanu Reeves
Amanda Peet
Jon Favreau
Paul Michael Glaser
Rachel Ticotin
Marjie Gum
Kadee Strickland
Jennifer Siebel
John H. Tobin
Audrey Wasilewski
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Ramin Djawadi
James S. Levine
Trevor Morris

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"Some say I'm an expert on the younger woman
I guess that's 'cause I've been dating them for over 40 years."

    So muses 63-year-old Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) in the opening scenes of this highly enjoyable film as images of super-hot young twenty-somethings cavort around the screen.

    Harry is the ultimate playboy. He rivals Hugh Hefner in his ability to pull the women in by the truckload and he's been doing it for decades. Being the head honcho of the second largest hip-hop record company in the world, Harry has no end of possibilities lining up at his door. His current flame is Marin (Amanda Peet), a late-twenties professional auctioneer who is young enough to be Harry's granddaughter, but is absolutely infatuated with this smooth, charming, and debonair older man.

    As the film opens, the well-to-do yet odd-aged couple are heading out of New York for a few days to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Marin takes Harry to her mother's beach house - a magnificent and incredibly expensive looking mansion-like home in the Hamptons area of Long Island - obviously a playground for the extremely wealthy. The odd couple haven't consummated their relationship yet, but all is set to change this weekend as Harry is certain he is about to get extremely lucky.

    Unfortunately, luck plays no part in Marin's mother Erica Barry (Diane Keaton), a successful New York playwright and aunt Zoe (Frances McDormand) arriving at the beach house and walking in on Harry in his underwear. Both parties are initially shocked by this intrusion - Harry and Marin because their weekend has been disrupted, and Erica and Zoe because of the massive age difference between Harry and Marin. But being sensible and mature adults they decide to continue with their plans for the weekend so Harry and Marin stay on, with Harry again a possibility to 'get lucky'. Erica has taken an instant dislike to Harry, seeing him as nothing more than a non-committing licentious lothario and far too old for her daughter. But her opinion of him is forced to take a back seat as Harry suffers a heart attack just before performing the deed with Marin, and he is shipped off to the local hospital. The young thirty-something doctor, Julian (Keanu Reeves) who looks after him insists he is unable to travel back to the city and should stay close by to recover. Despite misgivings, a reluctant Erica must shelve her dislike of this man and agree to nurse him back to health.

    Harry finds himself alone in the house over the next few days with Erica and in between jibes and friendly banter a wary relationship slowly builds. Harry might not admit it at first, but he finds Erica interesting and stimulating. She is the first woman of a similar age to he that has had this affect and he really does not know how to handle it. Of course if he doesn't move a little bit quicker he might just lose out, since the young doctor Julian has shown an eager interest in the affections of the older Erica himself. But Harry is completely confused about his emotions. He hasn't committed to any woman before, let alone one over 50 and more than a match for his super-confident charm.

    This is a charming, well made, and highly enjoyable film that, while being slightly implausible at times, provides easy entertainment and quite a few decent laughs. It's debatable whether Jack Nicholson is merely playing himself here, but whether he is or not, this a first class effort from the grand master of method actors. To see his reaction in some scenes and the ease with which he handles comedy is pure cinematic joy. He is only upstaged by the performance of Diane Keaton who brings wit, charm, intelligence and years of maturity to her role as the cynical, sometimes bitter, yet lonely divorcee. This is the kind of film that can be watched many times solely for the enjoyment of watching some of the best actors around do their stuff. Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    This is a terrific looking transfer. It is extremely bright, vivid, and clear. I can't ask for anything else and this one is really enjoyable to watch.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1 compared to the original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image overall is beautifully sharp and clear, with no edge enhancement present in any scene at all. Shadow detail is not stretched too much as much of this is shot in really quite bright light. Grain is not present and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are vibrant and rich with a wide palette on offer, though white does tend to dominate, especially at Erica's beach house. There are no instances of colour bleed or oversaturation. Skin tones are perfectly natural.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present. The transfer is virtually free of any film-to-video artefacts and there are no film artefacts of any consequence. It's clean, it's crisp, and it's vivid.

    Only two sets of subtitles are present, these both being in the English language. Sampling these extensively during the commentary produced no real problems.

    This is a dual layered disc that is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at 66:18 just as Jack Nicholson's Harry Sanborn enters Erica's (Dianne Keaton) bedroom. She pauses noticeably as she sits up and truthfully it is not the greatest of placements offering quite a distinct and disruptive pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three audio soundtracks on this disc and all are recorded in English. There is a lovely sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack for the main feature track and two Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary tracks. The main surround soundtrack is very much front channel focused with plenty of dialogue dominating the audio, but there is still ample fill in effect from the left and right channels and heaps of musical cues played throughout the whole film. These sound sensational.

    There are no dialogue problems. Dialogue is always clear and prominent. There are no audio sync issues
    The musical score is by the extremely well-known Hans Zimmer, and is emotive but also quite understated for the duration of the film. The songs used are more prominent. Efforts by Marvin Gaye, Grits, Charles Trenet, Johnny Rourke, Badly Drawn Boy, and Louis Armstrong feature throughout, in addition to Jack Nicholson himself singing La Vie en Rose.

    Surround channel use is extremely limited, with a little of the score and the songs leaking through to the rears. Other than that they remain mostly silent for the duration, but truth be told this isn't the sort of film that takes advantage of a full surround soundtrack. The subwoofer use is also limited though not completely missing. It does not draw undue attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio

Audio Commentary - Nancy Meyers (writer/director), Bruce A. Block (producer), and Diane Keaton

    This commentary predominantly features director Nancy Meyers doing all the talking with producer Bruce Block chiming in on occasion and actor Diane Keaton popping up between the 40 and 90 minute marks. It is a screen specific commentary that does tend to lapse into describing what is occurring on the screen at times, but there is enough anecdotal information about locations and filming problems to make it interesting.

Audio Commentary - Nancy Meyers (writer/director) and Jack Nicholson

    Director Nancy Meyers pops up again and this time she is joined by a very relaxed Jack Nicholson. Jack is present for the entire commentary and does offer quite a bit of information about his character and his method of acting. Some of it is interesting, some a little monotonous, and some just a little self-indulgent.

Featurette - Something Romantic About The Story

    Not a whole lot of value here unfortunately. This is merely 3:13 of promotional material with plenty of footage simply repeated from the theatrical trailer. Contains a couple of interesting snippets from interviews with the stars, but really it is a waste.

Featurette - Hamptons House Set Tour With Amanda Peet

    Another very light-on featurette. Amanda Peet takes us on a very whirlwind tour of the 'house' (it's a soundstage really) set in the Hamptons area of Long Island where much of the film takes place. Only runs for 2:50.

Deleted Scenes

    One measly deleted scene is all we get here, despite the constant talk in the commentaries by director Nancy Meyers about the 40-odd minutes of scenes that she chopped out to keep the story flowing. Some of them sounded quite good. This one scene shows Harry singing karaoke to Erica in a bar. Runs for 2:55 and is quite messy and dark looking. Presented in the right aspect ratio (1.78:1), but it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    A very funny trailer that gives away a couple of gags and sets up a good deal of the plot, but doesn't really give away anything in the story after about the 25 minute mark. That's about all we can ask for I think. Runs for 2:48 and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 but is not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on;


    Something's Gotta Give is a genuinely funny film that features some standout performances from Jack Nicholson and Dianne Keaton, with able support from Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves and the ever-enjoyable Frances McDormand.  The sizzling chemistry between Nicholson and Keaton is the highlight, with the latter, a true legend of the screen bringing much experience maturity, charm and wit to her role.

    At the end of the day this is a film that is highly enjoyable to watch, and that's what it is all about - entertainment.

    The video quality is excellent with no flaws.

    The audio is also superb though dominated by dialogue.

    Aside from the two lengthy and quality commentaries, the extras are pretty light-weight.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, April 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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