Something's Gotta Give



Delightful comedy, older teens and parents only.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: May 4, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Jokes about Viagra and menopause.


Character has a heart attack, tense scenes.


Nudity and explicit sexual references and situations for a PG-13.


Some very strong language for a PG-13.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking and smoking, character gets tipsy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is at the R-end of the PG-13 range, with very strong language, brief full frontal nudity and a bare behind, and explicit sexual references and situations. There are jokes about Viagra and menopause. In other words, this is a "grown-up" movie in subject matter and treatment. Characters smoke and drink and one gets tipsy. There are some tense situations.

What's the story?

SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE centers on Erica (Diane Keaton), a successful playwright with a beautiful house in the Hamptons. She is self-sufficient, or, as Harry (Jack Nicholson) says, she is flinty, impervious, and formidable. Harry, who only dates women under 30, is seeing Erica's daughter Marin (Amanda Peet). But as they start to have sex for the first time, at Erica's house, Harry has a minor heart attack. And when he gets out of the hospital but is not able to go back home, he ends up moving in with Erica. She turns out to be the kind of flinty that sets off some sparks, not just with Harry but also with Julian (Keanu Reeves), his doctor. Erica and Harry have a lot in common, beyond being from the same generation and needing reading glasses. They both stay up very late and sleep very little. They both hide their sensitive souls and protect their vulnerable hearts.

Is it any good?


This is a very old-fashioned romantic comedy. Writer/director Nancy Meyers's movie is solidly constructed, which is both good and bad. Meyers is a little too mistrustful of her audience. Just in case we might miss something, Erica wears a lot of white and Harry wears a lot of black and when they go walking on the beach, Erica picks up only the white stones until Harry gives her a black one. They wear each other's glasses. We get it, we get it, they are learning to see through each other's eyes.

And though there are plenty of laughs, in at least two scenes where the audience wants and deserves to hear the conversation between the characters, Meyers cheats us by playing a song instead of giving us any dialogue. The movie is overly plotted and too long but still manages to leave us feeling that we did not find out enough about Marin, Julian, and Erica's sister (Frances McDormand). But this is Keaton's best performance since Annie Hall, very smart, wickedly wise, and extremely funny. Nicholson holds nothing back and clearly has a lot of fun spoofing his own reputation. Reeves is sweet, sincere, and sexy, Peet brings a great deal to an under-written character, and McDormand is so good that you will wish for another movie just about her character.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Harry, Marin, and Erica have walled themselves off from romantic involvement and why that changes.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 2003
DVD release date:March 23, 2004
Cast:Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves
Director:Nancy Meyers
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content, brief nudity and strong language

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bycompulady April 9, 2008

Good movie for over 30 crowd

The movie was very funny if you are over 30, otherwise some of the humor may be lost to inexperience. There are some sex-related scenes that are inappropriate for teens. I liked the movie and would see it again, but definitely not with my children.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymfcdot February 6, 2010


I rlly liked it. Some strong language. This movie is a good romance and comedy. There is a brief nudity scene. Overall great film recomend it for 13 and up.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byannieh16 April 9, 2008


This was a heartwarming comedy. It was geared toward the upper teenage-adult age group, but it could be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. It wasn't a happy-go-lucky love story with childish behavior, but it was a story that many people could relate to. It wasn't set in an "imaginary" life where all the characters had amazing belongings that only millionares could afford, but the characters were down to earth. It was funny, sweet, and you left the theatre knowing that you spent your money well. I would like to buy this movie, because I know that I will enjoy it for years to come.


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