Jack Nicholson as Harry Langer
Diane Keaton as Erica Barry
Amanda Peet as Marin Barry
Keanu Reeves as Julian
Frances McDormand as Zoe Barry
Jon Favreau as Leo
It must be nice being Jack Nicholson. Writer/director Nancy Meyers makes a movie for Diane Keaton with a role in it for “someone like Jack Nicholson”. That had to be an easy audition and a wish come true for Meyers.
Jack portrays Harry Langer, a sixty-something playboy who is incapable of dating women over 30. He and his current girlfriend, Marin Barry (Amanda Peet), run off to the Hampton’s beach house of Marin’s mother Erica (Diane Keaton) for a nice quiet weekend alone. The only problem is that Erica and her sister Zoe (Frances McDormand) have also decided to spend the weekend there.
What follows is a romantic comedy from an older perspective, a perspective that Hollywood seldom looks at. Keaton and Nicholson are excellent in their roles, and should be since both are basically playing caricatures of themselves. There is a chemistry between them that is enjoyable to watch. Frances McDormand is under-utilized, the scenes with her are sharp, and she delivers on them. Amanda Peet and Keanu Reeves (Julian, Harry’s doctor who is infatuated with Erica) do very well in supporting roles.
A great balance between drama and comedy is maintained through the majority of the movie, with plenty of laughs with and at the expense of Larry. The growing relationship between him and Erica is a sweet one and progresses at an enjoyable, and believable, pace. Sadly though, the charm does not last the entire length. The end feels heavy and overly dramatic when compared to the beginning.
Who should see this movie? Fans of Diane Keaton will see her give one of her best performances. The roll requires her to display a large range of emotions and she effortlessly does it. Jack is Jack. He has more Oscars than any other actor for a good reason, and while he probably will not get a nomination for this movie, he does show why he has a closet full of awards. Action is scarce, consisting entirely of Larry being wheeled around on a gurney. Romantics will love the film – the ending is much more about the romance than the comedy. If you are in the mood for some romance with a lot of laughs then this is what you are looking for.