Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Complicated (2009)


As all her children are moving out Jane (Meryl Streep) begins her life long dream house additions, with the help of the recently divorced architect, Adam (Steve Martin). While attending her youngest son's college graduation in NY, Jane gets drunk one night with her ex-husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin), who has sense remarried his mistress, and the two begin a timid affair. But as Jake's wife becomes suspicious, Adam and Jane grow closer, and her children struggle with whether or not their parents are getting back together, Jane finds this affair is more complicated than she originally thought.

There are some movies that are just good. They're funny when they want to be, emotional when they want to be, and they're never really exceptional at any particular moment. It's Complicated is a prime example of a movie that's just good. Alec Baldwin's smooth ex-lover attitude provides many good chuckles, while Martin reminds us why he was famous to begin with (perhaps a more sad fact than it should be). Meanwhile Streep is her normally excellent self, but she's never really asked to do a whole lot. It's Complicated is a movie I imagine everyone walking out of with a solid consensus that it was good. It won't start any arguments (unless the affair topic is a touchy subject for you), and it's just naturally pleasant.

Though without a doubt it's the chemistry that makes It's Complicated's 2 hour runtime move by so smoothly. The characters interact well, and while there's some moments of questionable dialogue choices, it feels like rather genuine interactions between people. Perhaps that's what makes it enjoyable. It's not an over-achieving flair, nor does it really seek to be anything more than it is. It's a movie that rolls with its own punches, gets you smoothly from scene to scene, and when is all said and done, you'll be happy on some level that you went to see it.

Though of course that attitude is on some level it's own undoing. Because it never really goes for the knockout punch, It's Complicated is little more than 2 hours of mindless entertainment. You'll likely forget about it soon enough, and for the most part it never manages to really hit at the heart of the matter. Most of the film's emotional scenes are crammed into two minute conversations (or wall staring) that are meant to have ultimately changed drastically the opinions of each other. This may be good for keeping the movie rolling, but it comes off hollow when you're thinking back on it. Never the less, it's far from a disaster, or as mediocre as many have pointed out. It's an enjoyable movie, with lots of fun to offer, and don't go in expecting more.

Despite some great cast chemistry, and fun moments, It's Complicated is too run of the mill to matter too much, but that doesn't stop it from being perfectly entertaining.

4 better thoughts:

Snipes said...

This is probably asking too much, but I was just wondering if you could add a tag or make a list of all the films you give a certain rating. I'm just curious to see how many films you've given certain ratings.

filmgeek said...

Hoping to see this with my mum sometime over the next week. She goes to the cinema about once a year and a Meryl Streep film is guaranteed to get her out of the house

Candice Frederick said...

yeah i definitely think it's important to note not to go int thinking too much more of this movie. i'm watching it now and i have no expecttations just as you said mindless fun.

Ryan McNeil said...

Gotta say one thing about the movie - some of the food Meryl was making sure made me hungry!!

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