As much as I was eagerly awaiting the release of It's Complicated, I was quite disappointed by it. Meryl Streep, as always, is enjoyable to watch, but the film suffers from a weak plot, awkward pacing and a very poor performance from Steve Martin (which is probably due to his lame character). It is a pleasure to watch Meryl Streep do comedy, and while Alec Baldwin makes you laugh, he is not as funny as his role on 30 Rock (but I would never even try to say Nancy Meyers is funnier than Tina Fey). Nancy Meyers has now directed five films. The first was an unnecessary remake of The Parent Trap (starring Lindsay Lohan). What Women Want was funny and clever, though not an exceptional film. I was pleasantly surprised by Something's Gotta Give and I think it is a great film. The Holiday is pure trash and I wish I had never seen it! So here we have It's Complicated, featuring one of my favourite actresses matched with two very funny actors in a love triangle. Unfortunately, the film is a complicated mess more often than it is an enjoyable comedy.
Jane (Meryl Streep) has been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for 10 years. She runs her own bakery and is very well off. Jake had an affair with a younger woman, Agness (Lake Bell), and is now unhappily married to her. Jane and Jake have three children, the youngest is about to leave for college. She is having trouble with the thought of living alone in her house. She has hired an architect, Adam (Steve Martin), to build an addition for her home. It is obvious from the outset that Adam is attracted to Jane, though she is oblivious. While in New York for their son's graduation, Jane and Jake find themselves alone in the hotel bar and ultimately have sex. It is the beginning of an affair. Jane must deal with both Jake's desires to get back together and Adam's growing romantic interests.
It's Complicated does not have the most unique plot, but there are a few elements I just do not understand. Jane's eldest daughter, Lauren (Caitlin Fitzgerald) and her fiance Harley (John Krasinski, easily my favourite part of the film) are treated by the family as if they have been married for a couple of years. Yet, there is a scene where they meet with a wedding planner that just seems to be included just so Harley can see Jane and Jake together at a hotel, all while Lauren is too preoccupied. There is a scene with Jane and her therapist which seems thrown in and, while it advanced the plot, it could have been done in a different situation. I really disliked the scenes with Jane and her group of girlfriends. This might have a lot to do with Rita Wilson, who I feel incredibly overacted and seemed to be screaming in attempts to have the audience focus on her. It's Complicated is a decent film that should have been better. It leads me to believe that Nancy Meyers was in a rush to finish the screenplay, because I really hope that this end result was not was she originally envisioned.
My rating: 2 stars out of 4.