Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It’s Complicated

It's Complicated

  • Released Internationally on 23/12/09
  • Released in Malta by KRS on 27/01/10

In a nutshell

Jake and Jane have been divorced for ten years, after being married for fifteen. Jake has now remarried. When the ex-couple spend a weekend in New York for their son’s graduation, things get complicated.

Mid-life crises

This light-hearted romantic comedy manages to strike a good balance between fluff and drama, and builds a believable relationship dilemma between its two main protagonists. Since their divorce, Jane has taken time to adjust, but is now finally getting herself together emotionally. But empty-nest syndrome looms as her youngest daughter leaves the (huge) family house, and the loneliness isn’t helped by constant reminders about her dry spell from her girlfriends. Jake, in the meantime, is in a hectic marriage to a much younger woman with a harebrained son, and as he is dragged to fertility clinics by his trophy wife, he admits that he has become a ‘walking cliché’.

Happy families

The ex-pair meet occasionally, and the animosity has cooled, but it takes a full-blown family weekend like old times to bring out buried emotions, and with a lot of insistence from Jake, things start to happen. This proves badly timed for Jane’s architect, Adam, who is also divorced, and with whom Jane was starting a tentative flirtation. The triangle provides ample fodder for situation comedy and tough decisions, and the film manages to remain interesting without following any wildly unpredictable path.

Who’s in it?

Meryl Streep caps off yet another outstanding year with her omnipresent role as Jane. Torn between a steady situation she was getting used to, and the promise of fresh excitement, she is faced with all the tough decisions, and she manages all the complications convincingly, switching from lover to ex-wife to mother to cook to first date seamlessly. She continues to excel into her 60s, after an amazing turn in Julie & Julia, and a subtle but classy role in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Cooler) is single-minded and often hilarious as Jake, whilst Steve Martin (Bowfinger, The Pink Panther) gives a restrained but likeable performance as the nerdy but nice Adam. Baldwin and Martin will be hosting this year’s Oscar ceremony, which sounds promising. The supporting cast complete the complex family trees nicely, especially John Krasinski (The Office, Away We Go) as the fiancé of Jane’s eldest daughter, who starts off awkwardly but ends up having some of the funniest moments in the film.

In the end

Nancy Myers, who previously directed Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday and What Women Want (as well as writing the former two), continues with her winning formula – light, fun, romantic comedies featuring top-class actors and tackling various relationship issues at different stages of life. Her script is as pleasant as usual this time around, and the cast, especially Streep, deliver. Romance and comedy, with some extra class.



http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/itscomplicated/ (High-res QuickTime)

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