Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of
"It's Complicated"
(Courtesy of UIP)

Director: Nancy Meyers
Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Rita Wilson, Mary Kay Place, Hunter Parrish, Zoe Kazan
RunTime: 2 hrs
Released By: UIP
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual references and some drug use)
Official Website: http://www.itscomplicatedmovie.com/

Opening Day: 14 January 2010


Writer/director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) directs Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin in It’s Complicated, a comedy about love, divorce and everything in between. 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.

Movie Review:

There’s a certain pleasurability to every one of writer/director Nancy Meyers’ rom-coms- from figuring out “What Women Want” to realizing “Something’s Gotta Give” to taking “The Holiday” and finally now to admitting that “It’s Complicated”. Every one of those comedies were about middle-aged people- some may call them “old people”- falling out of love and falling back into love again, and in each of them, Meyers somehow made growing up (and by this I mean, growing old) a little more fun, snazzy and quite enjoyable.

If there was one thing that made those comedies so delightful, it was the chemistry between the two lead stars- Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt; Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton; Jude Law and Cameron Diaz; and now of course, Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. In fact, you’ve got to hand it to Meyers- she knows exactly the kind of chemistry her films need and she always manages to find the right people to play the right roles- and so it is with her latest.

“It’s Complicated” brings together one of the most gifted actresses in Hollywood- whether by comedy or drama- with a veteran actor whose comedic talents were quite recently found- thanks to Tina Fey. Yes, there’s little doubt that Meryl Streep is easily the best actress in Hollywood these days and that few thought Alec Baldwin could do comedy so well until “30 Rock”. In this middle-aged chick flick, Streep and Baldwin give such effervescent, positively buoyant performances that it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with them.

They play divorced couple Jane and Jake, who discover at their son’s college graduation in New York, that after ten years of bring apart, they are still not over each other. Is it any wonder that they will hook up, and for that matter, not just once? Of course, that wouldn’t be complicated were it not for the fact that Jake’s already married to another younger woman, which technically makes ex-wife Jane a mistress. Throw in Jane’s gentlemanly architect and also-divorced Adam (Steve Martin) and you’ll see how this love triangle is taking shape.

Meyers doesn’t pretend that any of her characters are young, so despite their youthful dalliances, she pokes fun at the seemingly incongruous nature of their age. Streep’s Jane worries at her no-longer flattering body shape, asking Jake to turn around while she dresses. And Baldwin gamely bares his out-of-shape upper body physique for the camera, even flabbing it up and down to prove his point. There’s also a very-funny shot of the consequences of a May-December romance, thanks to the declining quality of the reproductive capabilities of older men.

If that all sounds a little fluffy to you, it is- but Meyers doesn’t forget that there are real people out there who face the same kind of situation the characters in her film are. Perhaps due to her personal experience with fellow director Charles Shyer, Meyers doesn’t trivialise divorce nor its consequences. Indeed, her portrayal of both is surprisingly layered and nuanced. So after ten years, despite the infidelity of her husband, Streep’s character Jane realises that her failed marriage is not entirely because of Jake’s infidelity. And despite the passing of time and their happy cheerful faces, each one of Jake and Jane’s children is still healing in their own way from their parents’ parting.

It is these touches of genuine empathy for her characters that elevates Meyers’ film above the typical glossy Hollywood rom-com. You’d feel for Jane, the divorcee of ten years trying to find new love but still very much in love with her ex-husband. You’d feel for Jake, who realises ten years too late that he’s given up on too much of a good thing. You’d feel for their children, who had to live through their parents’ divorce and are still grappling with their separation. Certainly, it helps that Meyers has assembled an A-list cast who give pitch-perfect performances.

Though coated with a sugary top, “It’s Complicated” knows that it’s dealing with complicated issues that us ordinary people don’t always know how to handle. It doesn’t offer any answers. But what it does offer is the opportunity to have lots of fun while you’re at it. Life doesn’t stop just because it’s complicated. It deserves to be lived, and to be enjoyed, and you’d know that when you’re at a Nancy Meyers film, it’s always easy to do both.

Movie Rating:

(It’s funny. It’s touching. It’s a delightful charmer.)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Julie & Julia (2009)

. My Best Friend's Girl (2008)

. Mama Mia! (2008)

. The Holiday (2006)

. Shopgirl DVD (2005)

. Baby Mama DVD (2008)

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.