Harry Sanborn is a perennial bachelor who only dates women under the age of thirty. On what was to have been a romantic weekend with his latest infatuation, Marin, at her mother's Hamptons beach house, Harry develops chest pains. Marin's mother Erica Barry, a successful, divorced playwright, reluctantly agrees to help nurse him back to health. Once they are alone together, Harry is surprised to find himself drawn to Erica for all the right reasons. And despite her initial protestations about Harry, Erica finds herself rediscovering love. Romantic complications arise when Erica is also pursued by Harry's charming 30-something doctor, Julian Mercer. Once recovered, Harry returns home and goes back to his old ways. However, when his feelings for Erica prove to be life altering, Harry must undergo a true change of heart--if he is to win her back.
Don't be fooled by the title, which suggests yet another dopey, generic teenage comedy. This is a romantic farce for and about grownups, which rises above Nancy Meyers occasionally slack writing and direction thanks to its cast, in particular Diane Keaton, who manages to be awkward, valiant, indecisive and very sexy indeed. Her character, Erica Barry, is a divorced playwright whose daughter (Amanda Peet) is involved with Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson), a much older man who has never dated a woman over 30. After Harry suffers a heart attack in Erica's East Hampton beach house, she becomes his reluctant nurse, attracting the amorous attention of his doctor (Keanu Reeves). The film, a wry, knowing celebration of middle-age sexuality, is so funny in large part because it acknowledges the inevitability of hurt feelings. The loudest laughter may come when Ms. Keaton, having risked heartbreak and then succumbed to it, bursts into tears, and cries her way to an unlikely and satisfying triumph. — A. O. Scott
2003-12-12 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Something's Gotta Give