December 24, 2009
Review - " It's Complicated " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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woman," all the while trying to force herself to pursue a relationship with Adam (Steve Martin), an architect who's helping to
remodel her home.
With a long history that includes three children, there's tons of meaning in those looks. Given the mature ages of the three
main leads, it's no surprise that some of the humor in the film focuses on age-related issues. For instance, the way that
Baldwin's Jake's body has, um, filled out over the years is played for comic effect in not one but two scenes. There's also an
extended sequence in which Jane and Adam
share a joint, and the "old people getting high"
joke is at once familiar and hilarious thanks to
the efforts of Streep and Martin.
But Meyers is to be commended for not allowing
the movie to be all about how old its stars are. In
fact, Streep, Baldwin, and Martin are such pros
that all you really have to do is given them a basic
concept and let them run free. What makes It's
Complicated such fun to watch is the ease with
which all the actors interact with each other. As a
viewer, you rarely feel as if you're watching actors,
which is what any good movie should strive to
Who couldn't relate to this kind of joy, no matter
what age the actors are? Streep is one of the
preeminent actors in Hollywood, and it seems like
she could give an awards-worthy performance in her sleep (she's already garnered a Golden Globe nomination for this one).
Baldwin has made a whole second career appearing in comedic roles, and playing Jake is right up his alley. Martin has been
hit-and-miss in recent years, but he plays Adam mostly straight, and it's a demeanor that fits him well. Also of note is John
Krasinski as Jane and Jake's soon-to-be son-in-law Harley. He's cornered the market on charming awkwardness, and he gets
to show off all his skills here.
Directed By: Nancy Meyers
Starring, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve martin, John Krasinski
Writer/director Nancy Meyers has long been making movies that center
around the fairer sex. That may not sound like such a big deal, but in the
male-dominated world of Hollywood, getting anybody to greenlight a film
that doesn't put men to the forefront is like pulling teeth. As a writer,
Meyers did it by working with some of the better-known comedic
actresses of their day, including Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin,
Whoopi Goldberg in Jumpin' Jack Flash, and Diane Keaton in Baby
Boom. Since she turned to directing, she's featured such actresses
as Keaton again in Something's Gotta Give, Kate Winslet and Cameron
Diaz in The Holiday, and now Meryl Streep in It's Complicated.
Streep plays Jane, who still hasn't fully moved on with her life despite
having been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for 10 years. Sure, she's
got a great house, a successful business as a bakery owner, and three
kids who adore her, but every time she sees Jake with Agness (Lake
Bell), the much-younger woman with whom he had an affair (and
subsequently married), she can't quite hold back her contempt.
But all is not completely well in Jake and Agness' marriage, and when
the whole family travels to New York to attend their son Luke's college
graduation, an impromptu dinner between just Jane and Jake turns into
an unintended rekindling of their romance. Jane spends the rest of the
film wrestling with her conflicting emotions about now being "the other
It's Complicated may seem like just a romantic
comedy for the menopausal set on the surface,
but the pleasure ofwatching top actors elevate
standard material into something more is a gift
for all movie lovers.