It's Complicated Directed by: Nancy Meyers Cast: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski Running Time: 2 hrs Rating: PG-13 Release Date: December 25, 2009
PLOT: Jane (Streep) is finally getting over her divorce a decade ago from Jake (Baldwin) when suddenly they find another spark. Now she must try to balance her family, her ex, and a potential new boyfriend (Martin).
WHO'S IT FOR? Divorced women who are longing to be with a man.
EXPECTATIONS: Great cast. Streep does nothing wrong lately. I even liked Mama Mia! Yes, I'm as shocked as you are. So I was ready for a fun relationship ride with It's Complicated.
Meryl Streep as Jane: OK ... she can do wrong. It is still possible. There is something very agonizing about this performance. Jane runs an insanely successful bakery, has raised three great kids, and yet she's not able to look forward. Streep's performance comes off like a bad Diane Keaton thing (who is normally great but capable of missteps). What's worse is, there seems to be mood lighting, or a fashion spotlight on Streep during her closeups. It's not needed. And the one thing we can normally count on for Streep just doesn't exist for Jane, which is being genuine. Score: 4
Alec Baldwin as Jake: Here's the main problem ... it never felt like Jake and Jane had been married before. So, while Baldwin has his amusing moments, we're never on a journey of indecision with him. Is there more to him than having his cake and eating it to? Who knows. Score: 5
Steve Martin as Adam: It's the most mild Martin performance in years. He's so reserved as an architect getting over his own divorce that it seems the only reason we should possibly root for Adam is because he's being played by Steve Martin. Thank god for pot. Of course, I am talking about the scene in which Jane and Adam get high. It's cliche, but injects some life into the story. Score: 4
John Krasinski as Harley: Comic relief. Krasinki is asked to play his character Jim from "The Office," and not surprisingly he's up to the task. Harley finds himself in the awkward position of learning about the affair between Jake and Jane. So that means a lot of raised eyebrows and nervous moments. Score: 5
TALKING: It feels like a sitcom. Plus, we have the classic moment of Jane and Jake sharing drinks after 10 years of distance. So how does the film choose to present this moment? With lots of honest dialogue that brings us in to the life they used to have? Nope. We barely get the conversation. Instead it's just alcohol. Score: 4
SIGHTS: So let me get this straight ... the kid's are all out of Jane's house. Jane feels alone. It's the perfect time to turn her huge house into a mansion? This is already a place where her kids can be sleeping in another wing, and she'll have no clue she's not alone. If you're wondering what Baldwin looks like almost nude, you'll get your answer here. Though Streep remains covered. I'm actually convinced they used a body double for her legs. I have no reason why they would do this, but I'll bet money they did. Score: 4
SOUNDS: It's Hans Zimmer and Heitor Pereira. It's sweet, quiet adult-contemporary music that I have no problem with. Score: 6
BEST SCENE: Hijinks ensue when pot is introduced to the mix. It's great to see Steve Martin wake up, and Krasinki join the mix, even if it eventually leads to the basics of munchies.
ENDING: Oh no, Jane's going to be alone! Wait, perhaps not. Wait, I don't care.
QUESTIONS: Am I supposed to care who Jane ends up with? I think I'm really fine either way. Wouldn't she actually be happy with Jake? Why does she like Adam again? Is it simply because he's nice?
REWATCHABILITY: Not going to happen. Not only was there not enough humor, it felt long.
It's complicated. Oh wait, no it's not. This film is a classic example of rich people's problems. This is why minorities shouldn't try to understand white, upper-class society. It's been ten years since Jane and Jake went through their divorce. Yet somehow their perfectly normal, almost adult children all cuddle up in the same bed, near tears because of how difficult the divorce was on them. Really?
You would think Streep + Baldwin + Martin would be enough, but they actually needed a story as well.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10