LOVE DON'T CO$T A THING
starring Nick Cannon, Jordan Burg, Jackie Benoit, George Cedar
screenplay by Troy Beyer and Michael Swerdlick, based on Swerdlick's screenplay Can't Buy Me Love
directed by Troy Beyer
SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE
starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Amanda Peet, Keanu Reeves
written and directed by Nancy Meyers
by Walter Chaw The only thing stranger than an urban remake of the late-'80s Patrick Dempsey teensploitation flick Can't Buy Me Love is a blow-by-blow remake of 2000's What Women Want, the latter suddenly more understandable in light of the stultifying limitations John Gray-disciple Nancy Meyers brings to the table as writer-director of that unforgivable rom-com and the dedicatedly unremarkable Something's Gotta Give as well. The disturbing realization is that both Love Don't Co$t a Thing and Something's Gotta Give are products of women filmmakers, writing and directing films in an industry, at least in the United States, still dominated by men--and that both films are non-descript, fairly unflattering to women, definitively unkind to men, and ostensible comedies that wring the genre dry with great droughts of meet-cute, contrivance, bad direction, and enough predictable, twee dialogue to fill a dozen Ephron sisters pictures.