Indeed, the only way a man this coarse and fat and vain could get hot young sex in his sixties is if he actually is Jack Nicholson; if we for one moment believed that this lout was really a record producer named Harry Sanborn, the character would immediately be rendered either absurd or repulsive.(If you saw a 67-year-old man leer ostentatiously at a young woman's bottom in the grocery store and proceed to simulate oral sex on his ice cream cone, would you find it playfully charming or merely grotesque?is the clear standout since: an imperfect but heartwarming and moving tale of a dysfunctional family getting together for Christmas.She plays Sybil, the adoring matriarch who’s dying, and writer-director Thomas Bezucha works hard to keep the melodramatic clichés at bay as best he can while orchestrating a large ensemble (including Claire Danes, Rachel Mc Adams and Sarah Jessica Parker) through several plot twists.) And Keaton is playing Keaton: She still makes do with her ostentatious collection of tics and gestures that will be familiar to anyone who's followed her work, especially her 1970s collaborations with Woody Allen.
(Anyone hoping, as I was, that this might be a sly reference to the most memorable line in the famous 1992 "Seinfeld" episode "The Contest" will be disappointed.) It's tempting to describe this Diane Keaton-Jack Nicholson vehicle about late-in-life love as a bad movie.What makes Keaton's daffy performance here disconcerting is that, according to the movie, this is not at all who she is supposed to be.Again and again, characters in the film refer to her strength, her independence, her decisiveness.He meets Annie--Diane--because he's dating her twentysomething daughter, and they immediately hate each other. So it's a battle of the sexes, because Jack's still charming but offensive and Diane's still pretty but neurotic.It'll be a movie about older men with younger women, and older women with younger men--we'll get some kid, like maybe Keanu, to be interested in Diane, too--and, this is the best part, never moves much beyond this cynical premise.