Saturday, February 28, 2004

Yesterday's movie screening went rather well. The cinema halls were pretty full and there weren't any major disputes that I was aware of. The popcorn was unexpectedly of the sweet variety and on the whole, it went pretty well.

Something's Gotta Give was a not too bad movie. The first half was full of laughs, and Diane Keaton was great as a strong, independent, kooky playwright (Erica Barry) who thought love was long-gone from her life. She has great facial expressions, able to deliver the perfect smile for whatever her character's feeling. There's the slightly perplexed "are you mocking me?" smile (as I like to call it) and the shy smile that comes after having been unexpectedly complimented. Her delivery of her lines is spot-on too, and she's able to make people laugh harder than they would have ordinarily. Take, for instance, the scene where she's speaking with Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves). "You really are a very sexy woman," he says to her in a romantic restaurant. "No, swear to God, I'm not," she replies in a terribly endearing manner. It's hard not to like her.

Jack Nicholson as Harry Sanborn essentially plays himself. Harry Sanborn is a 63-year-old who only dates women under the age of 30 because they "never get [his] number] and [he] gets to call the shots." While there's no denying that he looks dreadfully old - to me - there's no denying that he does possess a certain rakish charm.

There is fantastic chemistry between the two leads, and watching the two together makes for great comedy. They connect in a rather convincingly manner and although we know that the two will end up falling for each other, it's such a surprise when during the pancake scene, Marin (Erica's daughter) returns home and interrupts Harry and Erica's tete-a-tete, and Erica retreats from the intimacy of their conversation, telling them that she has to work. Harry asks with an almost forlorn look on his face, "so you don't want pancakes?" "No... I really don't." She replies with a slight tinge of sadness. We don't expect such openness so soon, and it's a sweet, tender surprise for us, them and Marin.

One major complaint. Frances McDormand, as Zoe, Erica's sister, is dreadfully underused. She was absolutely hilarious. When Erica and Zoey first discover Harry in Erica's beach home, Zoey grabs a knife and tells Harry not to move because she "can break [him] in two!" Then, of course, there's the great dinner scene when, going into her women's studies professor mode, she delivers a diatribe as to why women of Erica's age are unable to find men, with the additional bonus of the after-dinner scene in which she does teases Erica delightfully evilly by imitating (of sorts) Marin and Harry having sex.

The biggest surprise of the movie - for me - was Keanu Reeves. While his performance wasn't as stellar as his co-stars, he actually seems credible in the film. He's almost believable as the suitor who's too good to be true - who's sweet, understanding, intelligent, caring and charming. And most surprisingly of all - he is majorly hot. Now, there was a time in my life when I declared that I would never be able to understand what legions of female fans saw in him. In this show, I - and many others in my position - saw why. He is smokin' in the show, and every single time I saw him onscreen, my stomach did flips and I had difficulty catching my breath.

Aside: One of the most hilarious scenes in the show is watching the three females - Marin, Zoe and Erica (in that order) - react to Julian's hotness (if there's such a word). You have to see the scene as words cannot describe it. It's good and spot on. That's basically how I would have reacted to him. Heh.

Of course, with all romantic comedies, this ends happily. Erica and Harry do end up getting back together. Personally, I would have stuck with Julian, but hey, as my friend commented thoughtfully, people can't help how they feel. But... if I were Julian - a man who's flown all the way to Paris to propose to my girlfriend - why the heck would I give her up without so much as a fight?

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