Directed by Nancy Meyers, SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE features the talents – and remarkable chemistry – of AFI Life Achievement Award recipients Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.
AFI Movie Club: SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE
Watch Meryl Streep pay tribute to 45th AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Diane Keaton.
DID YOU KNOW? SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE stars, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, were previously paired in another AFI Life Achievement Award recipient’s film, Warren Beatty’s REDS (1981), for which all three actors were nominated for Oscars®.
DID YOU KNOW? SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE was written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers, a prolific filmmaker who received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay for PRIVATE BENJAMIN (1980).
DID YOU KNOW? This film paired Nancy Meyers and Diane Keaton again after previous collaborations on several hit films including BABY BOOM (1987) and the two FATHER OF THE BRIDE films.
DID YOU KNOW? Twentieth CenturyFox declined the opportunity to produce this film, citing the advanced age of its two romantic leads. It turned into a box-office success for Columbia and Warner Bros., earning over $266 million worldwide.
DID YOU KNOW? This film’s title is derived from a song by Johnny Mercer, written in 1954. It was originally performed by Fred Astaire in the movie DADDY LONG LEGS (1955), for which it was nominated for an Oscar®. In this film Keanu Reeves’ character name – Julian Mercer – pays tribute to the songwriter.
DID YOU KNOW? This film was honored with an Oscar® nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role, marking Diane Keaton’s fourth acknowledgement from the Academy to date.
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Discussion Questions
- Critics including Roger Ebert noted that stars Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson performed roles in the film that were remarkably similar to their public personas, with Nicholson as a grinning thief of young women’s hearts and Keaton as an eccentric artist. While some reviews found this objectionable, Ebert wrote that the blurred lines between fiction and reality was “one of the pleasures of the film.” Do you agree with Ebert’s assessment?
- SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE was notable for the age of its stars, who were considerably older than the romantic leads in most Hollywood movies. Some reviewers even celebrated the film for its defiance of Hollywood’s ageism. Why is it so unusual for older performers—particularly actresses—to land starring roles in romantic comedies? What does this movie tell us about moving on in years?
- In SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE, Jack Nicholson’s character Harry has several real and perceived heart attacks when he becomes close with women. What do heart attacks represent in the story and how do they help move the narrative forward?
- SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE was written and directed by Nancy Meyers, who was one of the few women helming major Hollywood films at the time of production. Why do you think it has been so challenging for women to secure high-ranking positions working behind the camera?
- How would you rate SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE?
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