Something's Gotta Give (film)

Something's Gotta Give is a 2003 American romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers. It stars Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton as a successful 60-something and 50-something, who find love for each other in later life, despite being complete opposites. Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet co-star, with Frances McDormand, Paul Michael Glaser, Jon Favreau, and KaDee Strickland playing key supporting roles.

Something's Gotta Give
North American theatrical release poster
Directed byNancy Meyers
Produced byNancy Meyers
Bruce A. Block
Written byNancy Meyers
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyMichael Ballhaus
Edited byJoe Hutshing
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing (North America)
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
Release date
  • December 12, 2003 (2003-12-12)
Running time
128 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$80 million
Box office$266.7 million[1]

The film received generally favorable reviews[2] from critics, and was a box office hit following its North American release, eventually grossing $266.7 million worldwide.[1] For her performance Keaton earned a Golden Globe, a Satellite Award, as well as an Oscar nomination and a SAG Award nomination for Best Actress, among other recognitions. Nicholson also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. This was Nicholson and Keaton's second film together since 1981's Reds.


Harry Sanborn is a wealthy New York music mogul who has had a 40-year habit of dating women under 30, including his latest conquest, Marin Klein. The two drive to her mother's Hamptons beach house expecting to be alone, but are surprised by Marin's mother, successful playwright Erica Barry, who is there with her sister Zoe.

After an awkward dinner, the night turns disastrous when — during foreplay with Marin — Harry has a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital. The doctor, Julian Mercer, tells Harry to stay nearby for a few days, so Harry ends up staying with Erica. Their personalities clash and create awkward living arrangements—until they get to know each other. The fact that Harry is dating her daughter and that Julian has fallen for Erica leave the two struggling to deal with relationships.

Marin and Harry agree to break up. He and Erica spend more time together and eventually consummate their relationship. Harry discovers that his improving health means that he no longer has to stay with Erica, so he heads home.

Marin receives news that her father, Dave Klein, Erica's ex-husband, whom Erica still allows to direct her plays, is getting remarried to Kristen, an ear, nose and throat doctor who is only two years older than Marin. Although Erica is unaffected by the news, Marin is devastated and pressures her mother into accompanying her to a family dinner. Erica is the life of the party until she sees Harry at another table with another woman. In the argument that follows, Harry suffers from what he believes is another heart attack, but he is told by the young ER physician, Dr. Martinez, who treats him like her father, that it was only a panic attack.

Although she is heartbroken, Erica figures that these events would be great to use in a play. Harry hears about it and rushes to the NYC theater where it is being rehearsed. Despite her denials, it is quickly obvious that she has used the most personal details of their affair in the play. Erica coolly rebuffs his every insinuation that he cares about her and hints that his character will die in the play—for a laugh. He then has another panic attack and is again treated by Dr. Martinez, who warns him that he needs to learn to "decompress".

Six months pass. Erica's play is a huge success. Harry pays Marin a visit to apologize for anything he ever did to hurt her. She replies that he was nothing but nice to her and happily tells him that she is pregnant and has a new husband. Harry expresses a desire to see Erica. Marin tells him that her mother is in Paris celebrating her birthday. Harry decides to surprise Erica. Remembering how they had once planned to spend their birthdays together there, he shows up at the Parisian restaurant where she is seated at a table. Harry explains that over the past six months he reached out to all of the women he ever had affairs with, and even though repeatedly rebuffed at first, finally broke through. They all had identical harsh stories that helped him learn how he arrived at being him, with his trip to find Erica being the last and the farthest. Julian, whom Erica is now dating, then appears since she had been waiting at the restaurant for him. It is subsequently implied that he plans to propose to her.

Harry and Erica get along well during the dinner, but they part outside the restaurant. While he is gazing in heartache over the river Seine, Erica shows up. She explains that Julian realized what was happening between them and decided to step aside to let her be with Harry. Harry explains that his search the last six months has made him realize he truly loves Erica.

A year later, at a New York restaurant, Erica and Harry, now married, are out with Marin, her husband Danny and her new baby daughter, as one big happy family.



Something's Gotta Give was a co-production between Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Both companies have released soundtracks for the movie.

The following soundtrack was released on December 9, 2003 by Warner Bros. Records.

Track listing – Warner Bros.

  1. "Butterfly" – Crazy Town
  2. "Sing a Song" – Earth, Wind and Fire
  3. "Oooh Baby" – C+C Music Factory
  4. "Samba de mon cœur qui bat" – Coralie Clément
  5. "Fibre de Verre" – Paris Combo
  6. "Let's Get It On" – Marvin Gaye
  7. "O Beijo (The Kiss)" – Claudio Ragazzi
  8. "Here We Go" – Grits
  9. "Que reste-t-il de nos amours" – Charles Trenet
  10. "It's On Tonight" – Johnny Rourke
  11. "You Can Get It If You Really Want" – Jimmy Cliff
  12. "Have Dinner" – Badly Drawn Boy
  13. "Assedic" – Les Escrocs
  14. "I've Got a Crush on You" – Steve Tyrell
  15. "Graffito Disguise" – Mason Daring
  16. "I Only Have Eyes for You" – The Flamingos
  17. "La Vie en Rose" – Louis Armstrong
  18. "So Nice (Summer Samba)" – Astrud Gilberto
  19. "Boum!" – Charles Trenet
  20. "Je Cherche un Homme" – Eartha Kitt
  21. "Sunday Morning" – Maroon 5
  22. "Julian Calls" – Badly Drawn Boy
  23. "C'est si bon" – Eartha Kitt
  24. "Brazil" – Django Reinhardt
  25. "Exactly Like You" – Christopher Westlake and Bonnie Greenberg
  26. "Sweet Lorraine" – Stephane Grappelli, Ilsa Eckinger, Ike Isaacs and Diz Disley
  27. "I Only Have Eyes for You" – Michael Melvoin, John Guerin, Tony Dumas, and Mitch Holder
  28. "Learn How to Fall" – Paul Simon
  29. "La Vie en Rose" – Jack Nicholson

The following soundtrack was released on February 23, 2004 by Columbia Records.

Track listing – Columbia

  1. "La Vie en Rose" – Louis Armstrong
  2. "I've Got a Crush on You" – Steve Tyrell
  3. "I Only Have Eyes for You" – The Flamingos
  4. "So Nice (Summer Samba)" – Astrud Gilberto
  5. "Remember Me" – Heitor Pereira
  6. "Samba de mon cœur qui bat" – Coralie Clément
  7. "Que reste-t-il de nos amours" – Charles Trenet
  8. "Assedic" – Les Escrocs
  9. "Je Cherche un Homme" – Eartha Kitt
  10. "C'est si bon" – Eartha Kitt
  11. "Brazil" – Django Reinhardt
  12. "Sweet Lorraine" – Stephane Grappelli, Ilsa Eckinger, Ike Isaacs and Diz Disley
  13. "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" – Deon Jackson
  14. "La Vie en Rose" – Jack Nicholson

The film was originally scored by Alan Silvestri and orchestrated by Tony Blondal, however creative differences led to Silvestri being replaced at the last minute by members of Remote Control Productions. As Alan's music was already recorded some of it remains in the film.


Critical response

The film holds a 71% approval rating from the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 166 critics' reviews, with the summary: "Though it occasionally stumbles into sitcom territory, Something's Gotta Give is mostly a smart, funny romantic comedy, with sharp performances from Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, and Keanu Reeves."[2] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on reviews from 40 critics.[3] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "A-" on scale of A to F.[4]

Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, felt the performances of the film's stars, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, were among their best, and that Nicholson's acting, as his role covered a wider range of emotions, was the more complex.[5] The reviewer praised the film for being a romantic comedy for adults:

The adult romance is a dying genre in our era, but movies as wise and fun as Something's Gotta Give have always been rare. It's a comedy with hilarious moments, and yet with an essential seriousness at its core: Two people in the autumn of life find love.[5]

Roger Ebert describes the film's dialog as "smart". Although noting that Keanu Reeves's role "seems like nothing more than a walking plot complication", he praises the performances of Keaton and Nicholson: "A movie like this depends crucially on its stars. To complain that Nicholson is playing "himself" – or that Keaton is also playing a character very much like her public persona – is missing the point. Part of the appeal depends on the movie's teasing confusion of reality and fiction."[6]


Award Category Recipients Result
Academy Awards Best Actress Diane Keaton Nominated
Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design: Feature Film – Contemporary Film Film Nominated
Artios Awards Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy Jane Jenkins
Janet Hirshenson
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Actress Diane Keaton Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Jack Nicholson Nominated
Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Diane Keaton Won
Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in a Feature: Music, Feature Film Film Nominated
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards Best Actress Diane Keaton Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Diane Keaton Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Diane Keaton Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Diane Keaton Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Diane Keaton Nominated

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


  1. "Something's Gotta Give @ Numbers". Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  2. "Something's Gotta Give". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on May 3, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  3. "Something's Gotta Give". Metacritic.
  4. "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  5. LaSalle, Mick (December 12, 2003). "Finally, a grown-up love story – Nicholson and Keaton do maybe their best work ever as they create a nice, mellow glow in 'Something's Gotta Give'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  6. Ebert, Roger (December 12, 2003). "Something's Gotta Give". Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  7. "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
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