It’s Complicated

Santa Barbara Divorcees

         
 

25 December 2009| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Much too long but you might find yourself sticking with it. It’s Complicated puts Meryl Streep through the life crisis of a rich divorcee who gets back in the sack with her ex-husband Alec Baldwin who is now married to a much younger woman. You would think Steve Martin would be thickly entangled into the entire film but he’s simply the dating interest regulated primarily to the story’s second half. Then you got the kids, the ex-wives club, and other satisfied staff who are all just fine in their parts. As the standard for a talky, mature adult romantic comedy they performances are zesty if overacted. The architecture is too overly fine but for a movie like this that just adds to extra sparkle.

Some quick introductions: Streep is neurotic as Jane Adler, who makes a big brouhaha that she hasn’t had sex in a long time before she aptly gets laid, alas, only to be repelled in guilt. Baldwin is capricious as the ex who wants reconciliation with the former life he abandoned. Martin is a watery-eyed sad sack who is rejuvenated by his new crush for Jane. And on this rare occasion, the ever charming John Krasinski (TV’s “The Office”) has been given a good movie role: he’s the fiancée to one of Jane’s daughters. He’s the nice guy who is vexed by intimate Adler details he’d rather not know.

Now you are prepared for the story of how a divorcee gets her groove back. Sex in hotels! Tanqueray martinis! Smoking pot! Eating high carbohydrate foods! Dinner party revenge! But maybe she’s just gearing up for a nicer change that’s not necessarily her ex-husband. Martin, as Adam the architect, is that right smart guy who enjoys French films, bicycling in Tuscany and the culinary arts. Better yet, they’ve both been dumped before so they understand each other.

Nancy Meyers makes high-gloss chick flicks. You might have seen “What Women Want” (2000), “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003) or “The Holiday” (2006). I think actually her best work to date is as a screenwriter to the delightful 1987 flick “Baby Boom” where Diane Keaton was a career-addled woman who undergoes a sudden change of pace. It’s funny, that I think all her movies as director are too long and yet the funniest thing that makes “It’s Complicated” work is Baldwin’s gluttony and insatiability. Streep beguiles you, too, with her insatiability although she is the one guilty of the most overacting.

121 Minutes. Rated R.

COMEDY-DRAMA / ADULT ORIENTATION / SEMI FEEL-GOOD / KIDS ARE AWAY

Film Cousins: “An Unmarried Woman” (1978); “Stepmom” (1998); “Lovely and Amazing” (2002); “Something’s Gotta Give” (2003).

 

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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