Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"It's Complicated" is actually simple but funny and smart



It's Complicated (2009) 
118 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: B

So starting an affair with your remarried ex-husband of ten years sure is complicated when you're Meryl Streep, but owning a bakery shop with a chocolate recipe she probably stole from Julia Child (wink wink), her lifestyle seems pretty easy. Sheesh, those rich white people and their problems! Specializing in middle-aged sexuality and mouth-watering, upper-crust decor that looks to have jumped off of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, "Something's Gotta Give"/"The Holiday" writer-director Nancy Meyers caters again in "It's Complicated," light, satisfying over-50 porn. Old people getting it on, how shocking! 

Meryl “of all trades” Streep plays Jane, a divorced mother of three grown children in Santa Barbra who gets along with her rat, fat ex-husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin), remarried to the much younger, bare-midriff Agnes (Lake Bell). Their rekindle “that old feeling” from their former ten-year passion when they get liquored up at a New York bar over their son's college graduation weekend and end up having an affair. Shame on you Meryl! It seems Janey is playing the little woman even at her age, or as she herself says, “I'm a bit of a slut.” At the same time, Jane is flirting with an architect who's helping her expand onto her already-beautiful home—reserved Adam (Steve Martin). In the end, “something's gotta give” with either Jake or Adam. 

All three watchable actors performing together is enough reason to see the film and to know that one can still find love/have sex after a divorce (and menopause). Streep, so game in playing a woman sneaking off to have an affair and some pillow talk but still covering up, makes 60 look sexy Smoking marijuana and skyping in some key comic gags, the versatile actress is comically loose to boot, having chemistry with both men and getting the chance to giggle a lot. She's having fun and so are we. Baldwin as the philandering Jake is naughty and charming, verging on the line of smarmy and lovable; and the eldest thespian, Martin, is a nice romantic foil even if he's not given much comedy to do. On the supporting side, John Krasinski lends his comic snap for many of the lines as Jane's son-in-law, Harley, who learns a little more than he wants to about his in-laws. 

"It's Complicated" is simple, not complicated, entertainment: even if it's rather longish and without much meat as most of Meyers' unapologetic “chick flicks” are, it's funny, it's tart, and it's smart. 

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