Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin star in It's Complicated, the latest comedy from the director of Something's Gotta Give and What Women Want. The movie - about a divorced couple who start having an affair with each other - has the concept and gimmick to be a huge hit, but unfortunately the best parts are shown in the previews.
Streep plays Jane, who years after divorcing her husband Jake (Baldwin) has yet to find new love - or even a sex partner. Jake has moved on - he has a sexy young wife and a kid in kindergarten - but has he really? Jane and Jake hook up after a drunken night on the town and proceed to have a secretive affair, even though Jane knows it can only end badly. Meanwhile, she is starting to hit it off with her architect Adam (Martin), but with two men suddenly in her life - not to mention her own children - life has suddenly become very complicated.
It's Complicated could and should have been a fun little film, and as is it still plays adequately as a lighthearted, harmless drama. The movie has all of the ingredients for success - a group of talented actors, an established comedic director and a premise with plenty of potential - but it just falls a little short.
The trailers and television spots feature the best moments and dialogue from the movie, which means that everything else doesn't live up to expectations. It's Complicated isn't as funny as it could have been, and with the title it has, it should have been much more complicated. The climax turns out just as you'd expect, but without the conflict or zaniness that would have elevated the material. As is, It's Complicated is a little too close to real life: the circumstances are not that entertaining.
Nevertheless, the movie runs at a good pace and presents a decent enough story. Streep and Baldwin have great chemistry together; Baldwin is particularly entertaining, though his role is more limited than I would have expected. Martin is more subdued as well, but delivers a fine performance.
It's Complicated has its moments, but it lacks the moments that made other Nancy Meyer movies such as Something's Gotta Give so good. It is still mildly entertaining and may appeal to the middle-aged crowd, but It's Complicated fails to live up to its potential.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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