Friday, January 01, 2010
Movie Reviews: IT’S COMPLICATED
Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has—after a decade of divorce—an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). But when Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son’s college graduation, things start to get complicated. An innocent meal together turns into the unimaginable—an affair. With Jake remarried to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell), Jane is now, of all things, the other woman. Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realizes he’s become part of a love triangle. Should Jane and Jake move on with their lives, or is love truly lovelier the second time around? It’s…complicated.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Lake Bell, John Krasinski
Director: Nancy Meyers
Opened December 25, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 54 min.
Rated R for sexuality and some drug content
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Comedy
Remove Streep and Baldwin from It’s Complicated and you have a barely passable sitcom plot and writing. Thankfully writer director Nancy Meyers, who’s got a monopoly on the middle age rom-com market, has these two wonderful talents to prop up what is a surprisingly pedestrian script. Meyer’s direction here is typical of her usual style; everything looks wonderfully affluent and polished so much so that even the messes look clean. The plot and situations are fairly standard fare and there’s nothing is terribly surprising or fresh about it. Handing this script to lesser lead actors and you have a certifiable sleeping pill of a film that would fit nicely in a Lifetime marathon between the marital abuse films. Talents like Streep and Baldwin are held in such high regard because they are able to pull up the ordinary and make it engaging and fun when it has no business being so. Streep is a truly a rare talent and continuing her recent hot streak she shines emitting zany comic energy only occasionally crossing into over the top territory. Matching her move by move is Alec Baldwin. Baldwin’s wonderful comedic timing is in full display here, something he does regularly on TV’s 30 Rock. Baldwin isn’t afraid to go the extra mile for a laugh. He and Streep share some wonderful onscreen chemistry together and they keep the audience engaged through some of the more clichéd portions of the film. Steve Martin is there as a potential love interest but he’s so under utilized, outside of an inspired party scene late in the film, that a smiling cardboard cutout would have been just as effective. John Krasinski supporting role is the only one that has any heft to it and he show’s that his comedic talents aren’t limited to TV. The remainder of the cast is mostly forgettable but they aren’t given anything to work with in the first place. Meyer’s has had much stronger showing as a director and writer, luckily she’s blessed with 2 incredibly strong leads who make this film far more fun than it ever deserved to be.