Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Complicated (2009) [R] ***+

Jane (Meryl Streep) divorced Jake (Alec Baldwin) a decade earlier. Now she is the owner of a successful retail bakery in Santa Barbara; she has raised three children and has achieved a measure of contentment. Jake is a successful Santa Barbara attorney, now married to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell). He is beginning to realize what many of the divorced and remarried know… there isn't better, there's just different.

When Jane and Jake travel to New York City for the college graduation of their youngest son Luke (Hunter Parrish), Jake discovers that he's still in love with Jane, and an unexpected night of passion awakens something in Jane as well. Their two older children, Lauren (Caitlin Fitzgerald) and Gabby (Zoe Kazan), haven't a clue about what is going on, while Lauren's fiance Harley (John Krasinski) understands and is amused, but keeps silent, while Jane comes to grips with being the other woman. And to make matters still more interesting, Jane is remodeling her house to create the large kitchen she has always wanted, and her recently-divorced architect Adam (Steve Martin) begins to fall for her.

Written and directed by Nancy Meyers (The Parent Trap, Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday), the sparkling chemistry between Streep and Baldwin, plus the great supporting effort by Krasinski, are the things holding the film together. Nancy Meyers' strength is in costumes and set design, rather than honest, insightful dialog that exposes real human emotions (some critics have described her films as set design porn); this film is no different. Meyers has crafted a predictable, formulaic romantic comedy that is only lifted above the mediocre by the talent of its leads. So, if you want a light, frothy, vacuous romantic comedy, with broadly painted humor and little nuance and subtlety, and you enjoyed Something's Gotta Give, you will be satisfied with It's Complicated

Labels: comedy, romance   
Internet Movie Database    
Metacritic 57/100    
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=58, viewers=68)    

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