When I say surprisingly delightful and enjoyable I mean for me personally as I normally stay well away from these sort of films as they normally fail to offer anything more than a a mildly amused smirk from the corner of my mouth or a peer induced chuckle due to others giggling around me, and with Nancy Meyers Directing who Directed such bore inducing comas as The Holiday, What Women Want and Somethings got to give, I wasn’t expecting much but i was definitely more than mildly amused this time round.
The story is pretty uncomplicated and works nicely and if it wasn’t for the excellent cast it probably would have been another generic “Dramedy” that would be worth a rent from Lovefilm. But thanks to the excellent Meryl Streep as Jane, a divorced late middle aged woman who has finally come to terms with the fact her ex-husband Jack (Baldwin) cheated on her with a younger woman that she can bare being in his company (and his younger wife) again at social events.
With Jane and Jack having three kids together and their son graduating college the entire family head to New York to celebrate. Jack’s new young wife can’t make it so in her absence Jack uses his new found freedom and youthful vitality to hit on his ex-wife and after a few too many glasses of wine, dancing and reminiscing Jane becomes the other woman in an affair with her ex-husband against the woman who she was cheated on….. It’s complicated right?
Steve Martin’s character Adam fits into this bizarre love square as an architect who is redesigning her home to suit her needs after her final kid leaves the nest leaving her alone, Adam is a pretty ordinary straight character and the type of comic character Steve Martin should play more often, Being a divorcee himself he wants to get to know Jane better and during the dilemma of Jane’s should I, shouldn’t I affair with her ex-husband he gets his chance with hilarious consequences as he gets stoned with Jane at a party and Steve Martin shows flashes of his previous comic best.
Supporting the main cast is the standout John Krasinski (Office, Away We Go) as Harley, the future son-in-law to Jane and Jack who inadvertently becomes the only witness to the affair that unfolds before him an having to get involved in keeping it a secret from their kids. Krasinski excels in the awkward position and adds extra comic fire-power to the laughs and further shows why he is becoming one of the best comedy actors around.
The film deals with the huge issues of the affair with their children being kept in the dark as their divorced parents try to keep it a secret unsuccessfully and with the like-able Adam as the man Jane should choose as the smart intelligent adult that she is, she is torn between Adam the new guy where everything seems new and exciting or the man she knows inside and out, Jack.
The film is well written by Nancy Meyers and it’s the story and characters which standout to produced a very good comedy and on the whole it makes up for her unexciting and routine direction. It’s Complicated is a film that has a lighthearted and mature feel and although feeling like it’s aimed at the older female audience, and there are some scenes that were aimed at just women especially when Jane and her mates get together, the film really will appeal to a wider viewing public and I recommend it fully.
The film made me laugh out loud quite a few times throughout and it entertained me from start to finish. I think most of it’s success comes from the believable performance by Streep and the excellent turn by 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin who has become one of the best comedic performers on TV at the present time and it’s a dam shame he has announced his retirement from acting in 2012 after his contract on the excellent TV series 30 Rock finishes, as on this evidence he has so much more to offer delivering some shocking hilarious crude lines and visual comedy that is a shear joy to watch.
A fun film, very entertaining and a surprisingly good laugh and with a smile creating return to form by Steve Martin and the ever excellent Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep its a great way to bring in the New Year in cinemas.
It’s Complicated is out on the 8th January.