Movie #3: It’s Complicated

I don’t want to seem like a movie snob, but I’ve never been a fan of romantic comedies. I think it’s mostly because of their contrived, simplistic formulas and trite takes on human relationships. However, once in a while one of them catches my attention (and having Meryl Streep in the lead doesn’t hurt one bit). After her charming performance in Julie and Julia, in It’s Complicated, Streep again plays someone who can cook. As Jane Adler, a very successful bakery/restaurant owner, she’s finally gotten to a good place in her life 10 years after divorcing her husband Jake (played by Alec Baldwin). During the graduation weekend of their youngest son, circumstances conspire to bring them back together for what begins as a tryst that leads to more. Too bad he’s married to a much younger wife! Add to that a possible relationship beginning between Jane and her architect (played by Steve Martin) and the title of this movie seems to ring true after all. In Hollywood, it appears that making the characters older, and giving them complicated relationships is the easy way to try to make things more complex and sophisticated. I guess there’s some truth to that, but unfortunately in this film, for all the wonderful scenes of dialogue, there were still a lot of trite romantic comedy staples that brought things down a notch. Jane has cliche girl-talk sessions with her similarly-aged friends (like scenes straight out of Sex and the City); when some marijuana enters the picture you know it’s going to lead to trouble (and I was disappointed that getting high caused Steve Martin’s acting to revert back to one of his stock, goofy-character personalities — You’re picturing the overly-wide, crazy smile right now, aren’t you?); and when Jake sneaks into the bedroom to surprise Jane you know that everything is going to go hilariously wrong. As funny as that was, it was disappointing that the same tropes and cliches were used that we’ve seen in so many similar movies. I wish the filmmakers didn’t feel the need to rely on those kinds of crutches. This movie may have been superior to its predecessors some ways, but the title hinted that it would be superior in ways that it just didn’t live up to. (3.5 out of 5)

3 down, 47 to go!


One thought on “Movie #3: It’s Complicated”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s