Title: It's Complicated
Year of Release: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Date Viewed: May 18th, 2010
Looking for a way to get rich? Already rich and want more? Stop what you're doing and learn how to bake a cake. After all, it seemed to work for our protagonist Jane. And I used to think that writing was the best thing to study in college. I had it all wrong.
It's Complicated is an adult drama that plays more like a teen comedy. Marijuana jokes and all. It's amazing how clever the disguise is. The behavior that these characters exhibit should realistically make it a guilty pleasure. Call me crazy though. I felt no guilt in enjoying this film.
We start the film by meeting Jane (Meryl Streep) a bakery owner who somehow lives in a house built for a movie star. Hmmm. With her son graduating, her daughter moving away and her husband ten years divorced, Jane is now an empty-nester and decides that now would be a good time to have her house expanded. Let me simplify that. There are less people in the house and she wants the house bigger. Materialism or insanity? Your call.
But before she gets to see that dream expansion built, it's off to New York to celebrate her son's graduation. After booking a hotel room, she encounters her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) at a bar and they start to reminisce of the good times spent together. Four bottles of wine later, the former couple find themselves in the same bed for the first time in ten years, amazed at how well their love-making went (and in Jane's case, how much wine she drank). Jake believes that it's a sign that they are still destined to be together. And the experience certainly beats living with his current girlfriend and her bratty son. So the affair begins. Jane is thrilled to have a man in her life again but shows some doubt over its emotional sincerity.Meanwhile, it turns out that the man in charge of remodeling her home (Steve Martin) has an interest in Jane as well. Coincidentally, he has also recently dealt with a divorce and is seeking the perfect woman to fill the void in his life, having no idea that he is one of two competing men for her affection.
Jane is torn between her potential suitors. Jake guarantees a great time in bed while Adam the architect is an all-around nice guy and less of a psycho. She knows that time is running out before both men eventually discover each other's existence. Time runs out faster when Jane experiments with drugs and other gimmicks to shake up her love life. I shall stay true to my pledge for never spoiling the ending, but I will say that it's probably the perfect final decision, as evidenced by the smiles of those who were viewing the movie with me.
The film treats affairs in a rather humorous light. Even Jane's friends and psychiatrist are supportive of the idea despite its sinful nature. As I mentioned before, the characters' behavior is not something you would be proud to see your best friend doing, but I couldn't help but love them for it. It's the miracle of movies that allow you to rally behind someone you normally would have kicked out of the house weeks ago.
The writing is strong enough to make it a winner, but the cast is what really knocks it out of the park. Baldwin and Martin are in the best roles we've seen from them in quite a while. Meryl Streep is typical Meryl Streep, meaning she is great.
In short, It's Complicated teaches us that it's always dangerous to smoke pot and that it never hurts to love but it can make things complicated. Don't forget it.