“Meyers at ease with complicated script.”

Nancy Meyers has written and directed some of the best ro-drama-coms of the last decade. What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Holiday are all top notch films on every account. Her producing credits go even further back and include Father of The Bride, Baby Boom, and Private Benjamin. So when you see her name attached to a new film that stars Steve Martin and the always amazing Meryl Streep you know it has to be gold, right? Well one thing’s for sure, IT’S COMPLICATED.

Here is how it works. Jane (Meryl Streep) and Jake (Alec Baldwin) are divorced. Jake is married to a very young Agness (Lake Bell) and Jane is being wooed by Adam (Steve Martin). While in New York for their son’s graduation Jane and Jake hook up in a moment of revelry. Now Jake wants a fresh start with Jane but is still married plus Jane isn’t really sure she wants her husband back and is interested in Adam. So see, it truly is complicated. Throw in the fact that they are trying to keep this all under wraps from their kids, friends and everyone else only makes it more complex.

I easily liked this film but not sure I loved it. Like all of Meyers’ films it has solid characters who are wonderfully directed. The scenes move along nicely and you soon find yourself caught in its rhythm. She also has a knack for writing thoughtful and humorous romance among older couples. Jane and Jake are both well past middle age and so all the nuances that go with that are not shied away from but rather embraced for what they are. This gives it that genuine feel that resonates through Meyers films and makes them endearing.

The acting is top notch and you would expect no less from this ensemble. Still there where a few things that did not set well with me. Mainly; Martin’s character is a reserved, quiet architect who is way too serious. When you stifle Steve’s outlandish knack for humor he comes across stiff and out of sync. The other is that Alec Baldwin is the same as he is in every other role and that made him hard to like. Even when trying to be sad and loving he comes across as pompous. The reverse actually worked for co-star John Krasinski who plays Jane’s son-in-law. Krasinski is always Jim Halpert (The Office) no matter what he is playing but it works for him. He is truly funny in this movie and you like his character immediately even though it is in no way outside his normal box.

IT’S COMPLICATED is rated R for some drug content and sexuality. Although a comedy made for older adults who will get the humor and the wink at growing old it is very tame in language and dialogue. Meyers writes with sophistication and nothing is ever vulgar, sophomoric or gratuitous. Although there a few sexual moments between Jane and Jake they are handled modestly. If you are a fan of any of Meyers past films you certainly will find this one to be to your liking. I am not sure I would give it the Golden Globe nominations it received but I honestly enjoyed it a lot. I give it 3.5 out of 5 brow lifts. A perfect date film or for that “ladies night out”. Those who can appreciate the ins and outs of growing older or surviving a divorce will take much from this. So says Matt Mungle

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com)

(3.5 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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