This new powerhouse feature coupling the jazzy
Diane Keaton with the equally venerable Jack Nicholson was too easy
to like, to love. I could not love it. In fact, I hated it at first
until I resigned myself to the sad, awful "reality" that
is Hollywood, the princes and princesses of life almost always scripted
from the get-go. Everyone but the average movie goer is affluent,
destined for charmed fortunes.
Well, what was I suppose to expect? They'd
lined up all of their little ducklings months before the production.
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, together for the first time, just
milk the MacLaine out of Nicholson and the Woody out of Keaton, and
the formula can't miss, right? But you know, it's tiring sometimes
to pay out your six or eight dollars, or an hour's lifetime of labor,
and watch the aristocrats, like this otherwise nostalgic enough, predictable
romantic comedy. For sure enough, she's a one-in-a-million giddily
successful New York City playwright and he's a so-called self-made
music industry mogul, like these are everyday upper, upper, upper
middleclass careers any of us can just go sign up for at the local
state college. I'm self-disgusting here and genuinely Sorry, Jack
and Diane, but I just felt terribly sad. Think about it, if you can.
We'll never know the kinds of laughs you have in your penthouse scripts
and your courtside lives.
So that's my small 'plaint. The flick's otherwise
fine and a jolly good barrel of polite and sophisticated chuckles,
to be sure. If my mom had a house in Westchester or Cape Cod and my
dad paid alimony with his monthly travel allowance, I too would have
smiled and giggled all the way through this merry tickler. I just
couldn't get in touch with my sense of hope and entitlement and light-hearted
existentialism, was all. Every other scene all I could think about
was how useless Jack Nicholson is playing the myth of middle-aged
legend again and again (As Good As It Gets, Terms of
Endearment, About Schmidt, all great, truly, yet all
remarkably the same, too), and nowadays everytime he's on the screen,
I see him cozying up with Kobe Bryant and Spike Lee and the boys and
never considering a role on the other side of NBA rape and coliseum
owning payrolls, the father of a rape victim or a janitor at the Met,
I'll stop. This movie is very good. It just
wasn't very good for me. I will see it again and add the reasons I
liked it to this sad self-absorbed romantic tragedy reactionaryism here.