Have you seen the trailer for the new movie Something’s Gotta Give? I really couldn’t tell you what it’s about, but I do know that it looks like a character played by Keanu Reeves (who is 40) dates a character played by Diane Keaton (who is 57). Oh, and Jack Nicholson (who is 66) is in the movie, too.
Two things really chafe me about the preview. First, you can tell it’s supposed to be surprising that a man Reeves’ age is interested in a woman Keaton’s age. Now how often have we been expected to swallow a movie in which an older male actor like, say, Michael Douglas (born in 1944) plays the husband of a younger female actor like, say, Gwyneth Paltrow (born in 1972)? Reverse the genders of the two leads, apparently, and Hollywood doesn’t think we’ll be able to handle it without “acknowledging” that such a pairing is hard to believe.
Second, there’s a “comic” scene in which Jack Nicholson’s character comes upon Diane Keaton’s character naked and is apparently so shocked by the sight of her 57-year-old body that he staggers backwards and runs into a wall. This is funny? This is believable? Now, if Keaton’s character came upon Nicholson naked and was disgusted, that I could believe. I mean, have you seen Jack Nicholson?
I always find this kind of casting offensive or embarassing (although it can also be amusing). In “North by Northwest,” for example, Cary Grant was two years younger than the woman who played his mother. And he was probably old enough to be the father of teh woman who played his love interest.
Actually, while I’m sure this movie is not exactly a feminist utopia, I think it is skewering precisely the phenomenon you’re lamenting. The premise: Nicholson only dates younger women (in this case, Amanda Peet), and is stunned to find that her mother (Keaton) objects. But the tables are turned when . . . yadda yadda yadda.
At any rate, I think the whole point is to suggest that an older woman dating Keanu is just as ok as the more traditional Hollywood scenario. But still, the brouhaha over Demi Moore dating Ashton Kucher (both of whom are hot)while Harrison Ford (who’s not aging so well) and Nicholson (who seems to be supported only by constant infusions of formaldehyde) continue to court starlets suggests the degree to which this movie is playing on the novelty of such a relationship.
Good points, Ryan. But the trailer does not transmit all of that. And I don’t need Hollywood preaching to me about how this kind of relationship is “okay” as if this is a lesson they’re qualified to teach me or that it’s a lesson I need to be taught. Where do they think these assumptions came from, anyway?
George, you can’t imagine how much I appreciate hearing a man’s indignation over these gender inequities. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Yeah, I’ve found that chicks really dig the whole “sensitive man” thing.
Kidding! I’m kidding!
Sounds, Images, and Words
A few things I’ve been listening to, watching, and reading in recent days: Something’s Gotta Give: A much better, more nuanced film than the previews indicate. The film makes the older male-younger female romance appear rather absurd, and the scene…
This is really more of a question than a comment. Music included tracks bysingers who sounded much like Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf, but were these digitally remastered tracks or were others singing songs that these two were strongly identified with? I have been unable to locate any information whatsoever concerning the music chosen for this movie. Can someone help? This issue is driving me mad.
Check out the detailed soundtrack information at Allmusic.