Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Reel Reviews: It’s (Not) Complicated



It’s Complicated isn’t complicated at all.  Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) is a wealthy divorcee who owns a big house and a successful bakery in Santa Monica.  Her ex, Jake (Alec Baldwin) is a beefy, lecherous lawyer.  They’ve been divorced for ten years.  He’s now married to a young bimbo, complete with grotesque tattoo and accompanying grotesque kid. Jake is bored with life at home and, after running into Jane, wants to rekindle his love life with her.  Jake spends so much of his time reappearing in his Porsche, and trying to bed Jane again, and again and again, that you may wonder how he made partner in his law firm.  Steve Martin plays the inevitable third party, a harmless, nice guy architect hired to build onto Jane’s already enormous kitchen, and to be a foil for Jane’s flirtation. 

Notwithstanding the fluff and froth of the plot, the film is entertaining thanks to the director and cast.  Nancy Meyers, who directed Something’s Gotta Give keeps things moving briskly with some funny lines. Streep defies a matronly spread, wrinkles, and lots of giggles to show that sixty something is not too old for sex and seduction.  She has fearlessly taken on everything in the firmament of acting, and most of it is a success.  Baldwin shows off his comedic touch as well as quite a belly.  Steve Martin, unfortunately, has too small a role to display his enormous talent.  Those of you who have seen The Office on television may recognize John Krasinski as the young, incipient son-in-law.  He’s easily the best of the otherwise all-too-‘normal’ kids of Jane and Jake.

If you are in the mood for laughs and do not care about plot or substance this is a good escape.  One caveat: there is a scene involving some of the characters inhaling (yes, inhaling!) marijuana.  If it bothers you very much be prepared or skip the movie.  Apparently there has been some criticism of the scene.

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