Monday, January 18, 2010
Writer/director Nancy Meyers delivers another winner with It's Complicated, a charming, thoughtful, very funny romantic comedy about divorce, exes with benefits, unfinished business, and moving on. (Not to mention, a romance for people more, ahem, our age.) And Meryl Streep is, as usual, totally outstanding, lighting up the screen, and making us forget for a couple of hours every other amazing character she's ever brought to life. She plays Jane, mother of three mostly grown kids, and ex-wife of Jake (charmingly played by Alec Baldwin) who left her for a younger woman whom he's now married to. As we know from the trailers, an affair ensues between Jane and Jake, just as an intriguing architect (Steve Martin) comes into her life. Though the style of the comedy is pure classic with tropes out of the traditional playbook, they're beautifully executed, the story is fresh, and the laughs are real and plentiful. And along the way, the story gently offers a little food for thought about whether the good parts of a former marriage might be rekindled when the conditions that brought on the bad parts (job stress, parenting stress) may have gone away. And speaking of food, though Jane bears no resemblance to Julia Child, she runs a charming bakery in Santa Barbara, is a great cook, and has a remarkably beautiful home that she might have bought from Julia Child, making one wonder why she'd ever want to remodel and expand it (except that it was "their" home and she's just now ready to make it into "her" home). This film is not just rom-com soufflé, it's the main course too.