it’s Complicated

I’m just back from the local cineplex where I was a part of a packed house for the 11:00 AM showing of it’s Complicated. When you are in Florida, and the temps are in the 40’s, that sort of precludes the beach or the pool from one’s agenda, so the movies are a good bet.

With the kids back in school, and the holidays diminishing into the past with each tick of the clock, plus the aforementioned temp drops, the movie audience was a neat mix of the geriatric set, the baby boomers, and those who have to look back towards their 40th birthday rather than looking ahead.

It’s Complicated stars the ‘above the title’ A-listers, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin as the threesome who were recruited by Director/Writer Nancy Meyers for this laugh-out-loud rom-com.

It really isn’t a complicated movie. Streep as Jane Adler, was married to Alec Baldwin’s Jake Adler for 20 years, and they’ve now been divorced for 10 years. They had three children who are now all adults.

Jake wasn’t true blue – way back when, pre-divorce, he had cheated on Jane with a far younger woman who is now his wife. Anyway, Jane and Jake meet at a party and we learn that the whole family, the two ex’s, and their children plus a fiance of the oldest daughter, will all meet in New York to celebrate Luke’s college graduation. He’s their youngest and only son.

Jake and Jane are conveniently both booked into the fictional Park Regency Hotel on NY’s Park Avenue. Also conveniently – Jake’s wife is a no-show. They independently arrived at the hotel bar. Jane has a very dry Tanqueray Martini with a twist – and Jake has…whatever.

A few drinks turn into dinner, dinner leads to a few bottles of wine, and after a fadeout, it’s the next morning. Jane and Jake awaken in bed having spent a very passionate night between the sheets.

Okay, now that I’ve given you the bare bones set-up, now the complications begin to arrive like one train after another on New York’s Lexington Avenue subway line:

Was their affair a one-night stand in far away NY? They’re Californians from the ultra-posh Santa Barbara area. She runs a successful bakery slash restaurant. He’s a partner in a law firm.

Will it resume anew back home? Jane has gone without it (sex) for quite sometime, and her body ‘ain’t what it used to be’. Streep looks radiant even with her few wrinkles and some added pounds.

Baldwin has become a guy with that middle-aged paunch. But he revels in it.

So both of them really enjoy the sex…it’s written all over their faces, and expressed eloquently in Meyers script. At one point Jake says…I thought it was smokin’ hot!

Can they keep it from the kids? Maybe, maybe not.

Will it last or is it a phase they’re going through to finally flush whatever remnants of a once wonderful marriage out of their systems?

And finally, Streep is having an addition built on to her to-die-for-home. The architect is Steve Martin’s Adam. Conveniently, he too is immediately smitten by the now positively glowing Jane. And just as conveniently Jane likes Adam as well.

And there you have it. Meyers will trot out some tried and true, sure-fire laugh-getters like a pot-smoking scene (which the audience loved), a few scenes when either Adam or Jake show up at the wrong time. Nothing special in those but trust me, you definitely will laugh out loud.

There’s more than a few memorable and quotable lines that will stick with you, but it would be kind of like spoilers to quote any more of them here. Meyers stays true to her usual M.O. – a dislike of philandering men and having her heroines be lovable and vulnerable as well as being on the wrong side of 50.

Only in Meyer’s world, if you’re over fifty, it  isn’t the wrong side of 50.

Alec  Baldwin steals every scene he’s in. Watch for the future son-in-law Harley, played by John Krasinski. He’s given a lot of great lines and he hits a home run every time.  Steve Martin is wonderful as the earnest good guy that you want to root for.

As for Streep – it is kind of complicated seeing her in this kind of role because she hasn’t done that many rom-coms. I’m not saying sexy and funny aren’t what Streep can do best. What I am saying is that she’s  so superb in this one, that men of any age will be attracted to her.

My summary for It’s Complicated is totally uncomplicated. I only need two words: Must see!

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6 thoughts on “it’s Complicated

  1. Hi! I am “Miss Demeanor” from Al K Hall’s blog, where you left a comment and your link to your review. I really liked your review! I thought it was very accurate. For me, too, Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep are a big draw to this movie. Their performances really made me suspend my disbelief that a couple who went through an acrimonious divorce 10 years prior could actually hook up again! They made the implausible plausible, in my opinion, and did so very well.

    I, too, howled at the pot smoking scene!

    My only disappointment was Steve Martin in his role as foil for Alec Baldwin’s character. Yes, he was supposed to be a boring and nerdy architect, but he was SO boring in his “straight” performances (although he did *just* the right amount of hamming for the pot scenes) that I felt no chemistry between him and Streep. Yes, he was meant to be the staid-but-true fellow in this movie. But I think he overplayed the boring nature of his character a little too much. I found myself feeling sorry that Streep was even interested in him.

    Thanks for linking your review at Al’s site! I had fun reading this!

    • Thanks Miss D – positive feedback is always appreciated. I guess I said he was wonderful as the staid and boring architect because he DID come alive in the pot smoking scene.

      As you said – he was otherwise boring. I think Streep’s Jane Adler took interest in him because he was interested in her [first].

      Thanks for comments.

      jmm

  2. Thanks for the comments at my site, as well as the link. Hopefully my readers will check out your review as well.

    Your description of the audience was dead-on. I had a similar audience make-up at the screening I attended as well.

    I agree about your comments re: Alec Baldwin. It’s not every day that someone steals scenes from Meryl Streep, but he does accomplish it.

    I’m not certain that Jane Adler fell for Adam merely because he was interested. He may have been boring, but he seemed a genuinely nice guy. Women do respond to that, after all.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work. For those interested in my own review, you can find it here:

    http://carlosdev.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/its-complicated/

    • Thank for the comment Carlos – maybe the Adam character was needed to”

      a) attract more males to the mvie
      b) create a conflict within Jane
      c) his blandness might make Jakes more attractive to Jane.

      jmm

  3. GREAT review. I especially loved the liberal use of photos to move the review along and engage the reader into the spirit of the film.

    My readers need a break from the shizza in their lives so I’m going to add you to my blog roll.

    Good luck with your blog!

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