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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Someone's Gotta Turn the Channel 

I stopped watching Something's Gotta Give after ten minutes because during the obligatory scene with Diane Keaton cleaning up after the obligatory noodles and salad dinner, she drops a dish on the foor. It smashes. So she and the friend she is arguing with both crouch down, pick up the larger pieces, and throw them in the garbage. Then they continue their animated row, without wiping the floor to get all the fragments. But if you break a dish or a glass, there are always tiny fragments that people might tread on, so you have to wipe it up with a damp cloth.

You can see what happened: the director wanted to have them doing something interesting, because this movie is mostly all talk, so he thought: uh, okay, they're cleaning up and—and that's a bit dull, okay, they smash a dish. But having them get a cloth and wipe the floor is too interesting, it distracts from the arm-waving and sub-Woodyallenesque zingalogue. And I'm afraid that ruined the whole thing for me, because I was worried about people cutting their feet on the bits of broken dish. Well, not exactly, but I was disturbed, as it were, alerted to the fact that this is just a perfunctory little drama. It's an alienation effect.

Diane Keaton plays a writer in this movie. Tapping away at her laptop really fast, frowning a little bit. What will my next sentence be?? Ummm...okay! Keanu Reeves plays a doctor with a stethoscope, understandably abashed at his own presumed hotness. Jack Nicholson plays baffled, sexist, horny older guy medium lite. The man's craft is finely-tuned.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.