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on February 27, 2010
Romatic comedy--usually not my genre. This one's different. Very funny, and it's got just the right mix of elements. Number one -- should I say it again -- truly very funny. Everyone in the theatre I saw it with was laughing out loud and having a great time. Number Two -- intelligently written, no mediocrity here. Number Three -- it's about real people who are grown-ups (well, maybe Alex Baldwin's character has got a ways to go), people with lives, children, and friends. Number Four -- it has a good spirit. So many of what passes as comedy today is nothing but nasty or stupid. That's not what's happening here. It's Complicated manages to be generous and wise about human nature without being mushy. Number Five -- Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alex Baldwin do a great job, and seem to be enjoying themselves. I give it a 5 for "totally entertaining".
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VINE VOICEon March 17, 2010
We watched IT'S COMPLICATED the other night, with multiple generations in attendance. And everyone laughed out loud. IT'S COMPLICATED is a light-hearted, refreshing romantic comedy that will entertain you, brighten your spirit, and make you smile.

In IT'S COMPLICATED, Jane and Jack have been divorced for 10 years now, and they have finally come to a sort of workable truce. They have three nearly grown kids together. Jane has a very successful restaurant, and Jake is happily married to the younger woman with whom he cheated. Or is he? Unacustomed time alone together at their youngest son's college graduation leads to an unexpected night in bed together. This one-night-stand blossoms into a full blown affair, which leaves Jane, Jake, and the entire audience wondering if old wounds can be healed and old love rekindled.

While the plot of IT'S COMPLICATED really isn't (it's really pretty formulaic), the acting is truly magnificant. Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin imbue their characters with life; they truly jump off the screen. Meryl Streep is luminous - funny, warm, gorgeous, sentimental, sympathetic, sensual, and sexy as all get out. Wow, Meryl, please keep proving that life does not end at 40 and that Hollywood is not just for starlets. Alec Baldwin is excellent as Jake - a confused, aging little boy who wants whatever it is that he doesn't have. A near perfect role for Alec Baldwin. And Steve Martin as Adam, Jane's hope-to-be boyfriend, gives one of his best performances in years. The three of them have superb chemistry, and that alone makes this a 5 star film. The supporting cast are equally up to the task, and add depth and nuance to this film.

IT'S COMPLICATED is a delightful way to spend a cozy evening cuddled up with the one you love. IT'S COMPLICATED brings the entertainment, the humor, and the romance. You just need to provide the popcorn and the fluffy blanket.
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VINE VOICEon January 7, 2010
In her latest highly entertaining romantic farce "It's Complicated", Meryl Streep continues to astound. Moreso than and other actress (or actor) Streep is a chameleon, who takes on new totally different roles and completely inhabits the characters without leaving any traces of herself. It astounds this reviewer to think this was the same actress who portrayed chef Julia Child in "Julie and Julia" and a very strict nun in "Doubt" within the last two years! And she was totally convincing, and gave Oscar worthy performances in all three roles!

Whenever we see actors drunk (or high) on the screen we must realize they are not. They are stone cold sober or they couldn't act, which makes her many intoxicated scenes all the more funny and marvelous.

Meryl and costar Alec Baldwin look heavier, older and more middleaged here then I have ever seen them , which lends credibility to their roles. It is difficult to believe this is the same actress who just played the severe, thin nun. John Krasinski is also funny in support role as questioning in-law. Steve Martin, as is said elsewhere, is NOT over-the-top in his understated role as shy boyfiend.

There is a very funny scene with a computer with video. Alec Baldwin is hilarious playing an over-the-top role a bit similar to 30 Rock but with a lot more comedy and romance. He knows what he wants and doesn't want to take no for an answer, Streep is unsure. Meryl, as Jane, realizes she "may be a bit of a sl*t".

It occurs to me, in retrospect, that this movie is probably a revenge fantasy by a older woman whose husband divorced her and married a younger wife.

Very funny. Very human.
Highly recommended.
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on April 27, 2010
An aged, divorced mother becomes "the other woman" in her ex-husband's life when the pair enters into an unexpected affair during an out-of-town trip. Jane has been divorced from Jake for a decade. The mother of three grown children, she owns a successful Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and maintains a friendly relationship with Jake, who has since been remarried to the much younger Agness. Jane and Jake are attending their son's college graduation when they agree to an innocent meal together. Before long a simple dinner date has erupted into an all-out affair.

I thouroughly enjoyed this movie. Meryl Streep is fantastic as usual. Alec Baldwin was right on the money for being a scoundrel. Surprised at Steve Martin's part. He did so well not being funny. Spend a couple hours laughing your heart out. Terrific movie that's highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon December 29, 2009
Jane (Streep) and Jake (Baldwin) have been divorced for ten years now. He cheated on her with a younger woman, who he married. Jane continued her role as mother to their three children as well as owning a very successful, and might I add visually tempting, restaurant.

A chance encounter for their youngest son's college graduation has the couple back in the sack again. Jane's feeling pretty empowered cheating on the woman who broke up her marriage--after all, she's not an adulteress if she had Jake first. And Jake, who is feeling pretty old and tired dealing with fertility treatments and a son who is old enough to be his grandson, is falling back in love with Wife Number One.

Enter Adam (Martin) the architect for the new addition to Jane's lovely home and you've got a love triangle building. Add to that son-in-law to be Harley (Krasinski) and you've got an ensemble cast that's taking Nancy Meyers's hilarious lines and turning them into a visual treat as well. Probably the funniest performance in the whole film is actually Harley, who discovers the affair and tries to keep it secret from his wife-to-be.

Overall, the music, scenery, and acting is very well done. For so much attention to detail, I was somewhat disappointed to see the boom mic in several scenes; however, its appearance oddly only added to my amusement at the whole film. If you're needing a break from the holiday madness, this is definitely a film to see.

Rebecca Kyle, December 2009
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Although this has been billed almost solely as a comedy, this film has some very serious moments. It is very funny in parts and overall I really enjoyed it. Be warned though, there are some moments for the romantics in the audience that may not go over. The stand out performance was Baldwin's as he had to do most of the laugh out loud funny stuff. Then in a rapid about face, he had to get deadly serious. I thought it was one of his very best film roles. No one really knew he was a comic actor before 30 ROCK but he sure is. There is one scene where he is posing in front of an Apple laptop in the nude without knowing that it is linked to Streep's new boyfriend, Martin, as they were having a video call with one another before she went to the bathroom. This is utterly hilarious. His giving a sperm sample at the fertility clinic is pretty good too. Streep was very good, as always, but I can't say she was as funny as Baldwin. However, she was an excellent foil for him. Plus it is a boon for women that a plus 60 actress got to play this role. Martin is really in a very small role here. His funniest moment is when he listening to a divorce self help tape in his car and then we find out he's been divorced over 3 years! He really plays a nerd most of the time though, a very nice nerd but certainly not the hilarious guy we know he can be, or the deadly serious one either. As a comedy duo, Baldwin and Streep remind me a bit of Fey and Baldwin on 30 Rock. They are a good comedic duo and I wouldn't mind seeing them make another movie, sort of like Doris & Rock.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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I should have recognized the pitfalls of a pre-packaged Nancy Meyers movie since she consistently delivers the same overly manicured, Architectural Digest-meets-The Barefoot Contessa ambiance that perfectly reflects the privileged, vacuous lives of the characters who inhabit her designer comedies (Something's Gotta Give,What Women Want). This middle-brow 2009 romantic triangle farce is no exception as it showcases Meryl Streep as Jane, the successful, late-fiftyish owner of a Santa Barbara boutique patisserie and the mother of three grown children. A decade after her divorce, she still has a congenial relationship with her ex-husband Jake who in true Hollywood-cliché style, left her to marry a much younger woman with abs of steel and a bratty five-year-old. As an empty-nester trying to get used to youngest daughter Gabby going off to college, Jane succumbs to Jake's charms in the bar of a New York hotel where the ex-spouses are staying to attend their son's college graduation.

Their alcohol-infused one-night-stand kick-starts the predictable comedy hi-jinks with Jane's more-recently-divorced architect Adam thrown in the mix for good measure. Considering the star wattage involved, I was surprised how bored I was with the ensuing shenanigans despite the crack comic performances of Streep and Alec Baldwin as the smitten-again Jake. The first problem is that the movie feels overlong at 121 minutes with a slow set-up and an even more gradual wrap-up unfortunately peppered with a sitcom-level, Three's Company-style episode involving a webcam. The second problem is casting Steve Martin, surgically altered and looking like a waxwork, as Adam, a role that begs for flashes of his old wild-and-crazy persona but ends up being a persistent milquetoast who hardly seems romantic rival enough for the far more vibrant and impulsive Jake. Even Martin's brief moment of comic glory during the pot-smoking scene is stolen by Streep's more natural, free-wheeling style.

The rest of the cast is given short shrift in Meyers' belabored screenplay with Lake Bell in the woefully underwritten role of Jake's predictably curt wife and the young actors playing Jane's children - Caitlin Fitzgerald, Hunter Parrish and Zoe Kazan - particularly unctuous and irritating. However, John Krasinski (Away We Go) shines in the minor role of eldest daughter Lauren's affable husband who unexpectedly discovers the affair between Jane and Jake in an amusingly slapstick fashion. John Toll's crisp, lifestyle-magazine-style cinematography makes the movie feel like an extended Food Network program. The 2010 DVD offers just one significant extra, a decent feature-length audio commentary track with Meyers, Toll, executive producer Suzanne Farwell, and editor Joe Hutshing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the principals participated.
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on April 4, 2010
This is my favorite movie so far this year. It is just plain enjoyable, from the look to the cast to the story. Yes, Alec Baldwin is shameless but he plays shameless very funny and everyone wants Meryl's sunny funny life. Steve is so sweet, you can't help routing for him and Jim Krazinski gets all the funny lines and looks. Great movie and definitely a buy.
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on February 28, 2011
The ultimate chick flick. Streep at her best. Great relationship stuff on so many levels. The ex, the kids, the gal pals, the new love interest, the dangerous affair. Many laugh out loud moments. Plus, the bonus of a Baldwin. Alec Baldwin's terrific and fearless in this role. Director Nancy Meyers continues to charm us with her trademark set "design porn" and the music of Hans Zimmer carries us happily from scene to scene. I've rented the movie so many times I finally decided to buy it, but really wish Amazon would explain what is on this 2 Disc Special Edition set. Not sure whether to pop for the 2 disc or just get the regular edition.
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on December 14, 2010
I saw this movie in the theater and I liked it. When it came out on DVD, I bought it so that could I drool over the interiors. (Let's face it, Nancy Meyer movies are great in large part due to the set design and shoot locations.) I wasn't so impressed the second time I saw it. While it is an enjoyable movie, and Meryl Streep comes off as likable and not shrill like Diane Keaton often does, the conflict isn't really that deep. It's a movie where you can watch capable actors--walk through a script blindfolded. Without the proper casting, which the movie has, it doesn't really work. Although in all fairness, Steve Martin's character doesn't really have much to do, so he comes off as sweet, but dull.

Another thing about the movie is that the characters seem too storybook, well with the exception of Meryl's( but even she is practically perfect). Baldwin plays the charming, aging, cad to a 'T'. And if you looked up "nice guy" in the dictionary, you would see Steve Martin's character's face. The kids seem like they come out of an advertisement or a really old sitcom. At one point in the movie, they all (this is not really a spoiler) get into bed, under the covers, and look at their mom with sad puppy doll eyes. All three of them. In bed. With covers. Did I mention they are all adults? And at least two of them have graduated college? Unreal! It was like watching the picket fence Vanilla family. In what world do these people exist? When your dad is the coolest person in the movie, something is wrong.

Nancy Meyers likes to use scripts to project onto the screen things that have happened in her own life. She's a divorced, creative woman with clout, who loves France, and I understand that her homes are always exceptionally designed. All of her recent female protagonist reflects this. I'd like to see her expand on it a bit. Make her characters have a few more warts, and make me really debate who to cheer for at the end. And please include the fabulous set design of course.
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