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It's Complicated

A movie directed by Nancy Meyers

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It's Complicated ... It's Comedy; It's Adultery; And Meryl Streep Gets Stoned!

  • Jan 1, 2010
Rating:
+1
Pros: Meryl Streep, John Krasinski, some cute laughs

Cons: Treats adultery lightly, uneven performances

The Bottom Line: Looking for a light-hearted comedy? If that, and Meryl Streep are enough for you, you might like this Middle-Aged Female Fantasy Film.

Somehow, my cousin and I managed to convince our husbands to see "It's Complicated" with us.  I know that Meryl Streep never disappoints me.  I was just hoping the comedy level, plot and performances would overcome the Chick-Flick factor, so that the four of us would enjoy it. So, here's how it turned out.

Nancy Meyers directs this romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep as Jane, and Alec Baldwin as Jake,  two 50-something year olds who divorced each other several years ago, but are now involved with each other, again.  

----A touch of plot without giving much away:

Yes, Jane got divorced from Jake years ago, and Jane raised their children, while running a successful bakery. Jane sometimes gets lonely. Jake is remarried, with a young child at home. Jane and Jake end up in the same bar, in the same hotel (when they are attending their son's college graduation). They get drunk, start dancing, and end up sleeping together. Jake then decides he wants Jane back in his life and aggressively pursues additional hookups. Meanwhile, Jane is conflicted. While she is enjoying her ex-husband's attention, and the romance, and sex, she really doesn't want to be the Other Woman, having an affair with a married man; in addition, she remembers Jake's flaws and why they got divorced in the first place.

However, Jane's misgivings are short-lived, as her therapist (yes, her therapist!!!) and her three Best Girlfriends all encourage her affair with her ex-husband. So, Jane sneaks around with her married ex-husband. In addition, the mild-mannered architect she has hired to add an addition to her already stunning house also has eyes for her.  With two men actively pursuing her, what will Jane do?

Want to know more? You'll just have to see the movie yourself, because that's all the plot I'm giving you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the end, I thought this movie was a mixed bag.  There are lots of laughs here, and perhaps that is enough. Just don't try to analyze the plot at all, as the premise is icky and the feel-good ending, too predictable.

----The performances:

As always, Meryl Streep dazzles with her charm and acting skills. She is classy, elegant, and believable. Although it was a touch odd that she runs a bakery. The scenes showing her cooking croissants were too reminiscent of her other recent movie, Julie & Julia. I'm not sure why they decided to do that. Still, Meryl is great.

On the other hand, I did not care for the Alec Baldwin character. I just couldn't get past the sleaze factor. Unhappy with his life with Wife #2 (who is half his age), he decides to slither back to Wife #1. Yuck. He's charming, and foolish and sleazy and unrealistic and childish. Yeah, I just wanted Jane to slap him!

John Krasinski (The Office) was adorable and hilarious as Jane's daughter's fiancé.  Some of his scenes, with farcical humor, really stole the show. On the other hand, there were the other young folks ...

Jane and Jake's young adult kids were just ... odd. Really odd. Childish, one-dimensional and unrealistic. Yeah, that about sums it up.

Steve Martin did a very good job as the soft spoken architect. Then again, how hard is it to be The Mild Mannered Nice Guy?

----The comedy:

There were numerous chuckles. This is really just a light-weight comedy. However, most of the laughs were of the brief chuckle variety; very few were of the laugh-until-my-side-hurt-and-I-can't-breathe variety. In fact, I would say there was only one scene that was amazingly, memorably, hilariously funny, and two others that were moderately memorable. The rest were pretty forgettable. In retrospect, many of the jokes were old, old jokes, done many times before. For example, I bet you've seen lots of movies where the guy climbs a ladder, or a ledge, under cover of darkness, in order to sneak a peek into the windows of the girl-of-his-dreams. It was done in Animal House, and many others. The guy always falls off the ladder/ledge, and it always gets laughs. Yep, we've got a scene like that here, too. And, sure, I laughed, but I also recognize the lack of originality.

----The Adultery Factor:

More than anything else, this film is about Jane and that remarried man, Jake, having an affair. I felt that the movie downplayed the seriousness of this situation. Jane's therapist tells her, essentially, to loosen up and have fun with her ex-husband. I found that to be ludicrous, unrealistic and even dangerous, advice. (What if  Jake's new wife discovers the affair and murders the two of them?)  Jane's girlfriends also encourage the shenanigans. So, while I chuckled through the movie, I also felt the basic premise was quite icky.

----Middle-aged folks stoned on pot:

A substantial section of the movie involves middle-aged people getting stoned. The scenes were quite humorous, but anyone who would object to such scenes might want to skip this film.

----So, what did the husbands think?

No violence here. No gore, no action, no car-chase scenes, no explosions. Yes, the husbands were not happy with this one. In fact, as we walked out of the theater, my cousin's husband said to her, "I sat through that. You now owe me an action movie!"

----Parental guidance:

This movie would have little to no appeal to young ones. The R rating is for several scenes showing adults smoking marijuana, and one view of Alec Baldwin's backside. There are lots of scenes of Jane and Jake in bed, but the sexual acts are implied, not actually shown.

----So, do I recommend this movie?

Overall, this film will appeal more to women than men (although some men may enjoy it, too). If you're simply in the mood for some laughs, and can overlook a number of flaws, it might be worth seeing. However, the acting is uneven, the plot is far from brilliant, and the ending is predictable. Still, there are some days that I am willing to overlook all of that, just to have a couple hours of silly laughs. Overall, I will give this film a mild recommendation, particularly for Ladies Night Out.

Recommended:
Yes

Movie Mood: Girl Movie
Viewing Method: Other
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.

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May 20, 2011
nice review!
 
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More It's Complicated reviews
review by . May 20, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I have always thought my parents were a bit strange. Always fun, but definitely out there. But let's be honest, who hasn't thought that about their parents and/or family. Having grown up and moved out of the house I now find myself thinking back to when I was still living under the rules of the house and the traditions my family fell into. Truth is, no matter how frustrated I get with phone calls about computer issues or TV problems because the remote won't work, there are some very …
review by . January 19, 2010
Written and directed by Nancy Meyers   Staring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin   Universal Pictures   120 minutes      I don't see that many movies in the theater anymore, but when I saw the ads for It's Complicated, I knew I wanted to see it.  For once, I was not disappointed. This movie is a gem, a story that fits its medium beautifully.       One problem with being a writer is you tend to lose the ability …
review by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin were married for 15 years and divorced for 10.  They had 3 kids together, the eldest is engaged.  Even though Baldwin is married he seems bored with his current wife,   She drags him to fertility clinics and public school meetings.  Streep has finally adjusted to the divorced life and has been running a successful French bakery.  Her friends chide her about having a man and she reluctantly admits to them that she has been celebite for years.   …
review by . April 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Nancy Meyers wrote and directed this film about a strange form of adultery - a form that she condones because the adulteress is the 60ish divorced mother of three and the 'victim' is the pretty young 2nd marriage gal that the husband of the 60ish woman left her for and so that must be some kind of justice....Make sense? Well it seems so to Meyers whose long string of 'feminist movies' (Father of the Bride I & II, Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, What Women Want, The Parent Trap, etc) writes …
review by . March 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There is something about real life that is more romantic than fantasy.     Its Complicated takes advantage of what much of what is most endearing and funny about people who have been through child raising, marriage and career building--their genuine surprise when they fall in love. Meryl Streep plays a divorced woman with grown children who really doesn't expect to fall in love again and finds that she suddenly has two men after her. If she were 35, this would be typical romantic …
review by . January 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In "It's Complicated," director Nancy Meyers accomplishes what she did in her earlier film, "Something's Gotta Give"; she creates a great female character who is over fifty-five, succeeds financially in the world without a man and still has the potential and desire to not only have a fantasy romance, but to do so with gusto. Unlike other `Ms.' magazine-reading cronies of her generation, Meyers' Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) character is not afraid to admit that she is lonely and that she feels badly …
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Diana ()
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Just your basic mother, wife, doctor, email addict. Oh, and I have a bunch of hobbies and enjoy trying new things and meeting new people.
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Wiki

Jane 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. 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...


It's Complicated is a 2009 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Nancy Meyers, starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Plot:
Jane is a self-reliant divorcée who owns a successful bakery in Santa Barbara, California. After 10 years of separation and three grown children, she finally achieves a good relationship with her ex-husband Jake, a successful attorney who has remarried the much-younger Agness. Jane and Jake meet when out of town and attending the college graduation of their son. A dinner together develops into an affair, making Jane "the other woman". Complicating matters is Adam, an architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen, who is himself healing from a divorce of his own, and who has begun to fall in love with Jane. He realizes he is now part of a very strange love triangle.

It's delightful to see Meryl Streep come into her own as a romantic comedian in her later career years--after all the accolades, the Oscars, the serious-as-marble dramatic roles. Streep is in fact a true cutup, as she has ...

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Details

Director: Nancy Meyers
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: December 25th, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
Runtime: 1 hr. 58 min.
Studio: Universal Pictures
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