Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weekend DVD Roundup- 3 days late and 1 movie short - It's Complicated

 The set-up for "It's Complicated" seemed promising - middle aged woman (Meryl Streep) who thinks she has her post divorce life figured out finds herself "the other woman" when she starts an affair with her ex husband (Alec Baldwin). Meryl Streep does all things well including comedy and Alec Baldwin is the perfect fit for a character who is full of himself and conveniently self delusional. Throw in Steve Martin and John Krasinksi (who mines comic gold each week on "The Office") and I was expecting a diverting 120 minutes. Instead this movie irritated me continuously for 2 hours. What went wrong? I am going to cut the actors some slack and lay the blame at the feet of director and writer Nancy Meyers. She tends to write movies that have a thin veneer of neurotic self-entitlement. Sometimes it works or is at least tolerable as in "The Holiday" but here she lays it on a bit thick. Streep's Jane is the type of woman who has feng shui'd her life into submission, watches "The Hills" with her daughter, and makes ice cream when she can't sleep ( funny, all I get are bags under my eyes). Her romantic dilemma is a choice between two men - an architect who lost his wife to another man on a couples bike tour of Italy and the ex who lives under the twin threat of his younger wife's fascist ovulation schedule and a demon step-child. Cliché on top of cliché that eventually eclipses the acting.

Speaking of acting. What a waste to have Jim Krasinksi in this movie. His role as Jane's future son-in-law is to wince, shrug, smile and sigh. Note to Nancy Meyers, facial expressions and body language are only the beginning of emoting and not the final product.  Last note and then I will stop beating up on the movie, I promise. I don't know what Jane's three adult children are supposed to represent but they are harpy, over emotional and creepy in a Stepford sort of way. As a child of divorce I can tell you I would've ended up in therapy if anyone ever suggested snuggling in bed with my adult siblings as comfort from a divorce that happened ten years prior.