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</script></div>{/googleAds}Writer/director Nancy Meyers is to the middle-age romantic comedy what Adriane Lyne is to the adulterous drama. Both filmmakers scoff at the possibility of pigeonholing themselves in genres they all but created themselves, instead choosing to excel at what they do best.

The Academy Award winning Meyers made her name with involvement in such popular hits as The Parent Trap (1998), What Women Want and The Holiday. But whereas most of those films feel like nutritionless junk food for hopeless romantics, the delightfully entertaining It's Complicated overcomes a slow start to eventually excel behind inspired performances and a screenplay with a little meat on its bones.

The plot, which is actually quite simple (and was thoroughly covered in the trailers), involves Jane (Meryl Streep) and Jake (Alec Baldwin), an amicably divorced couple (they've been apart for 10 years), who find their attraction re-ignited while out of town attending their son's college graduation. What seems like an innocent dinner with wine eventually turns to joyful conversation, more wine and then ultimately to the couple in bed together. Matters get complicated (we knew they would) when Jane also falls for her architect friend (Steve Martin) and Jake gets restless in his marriage to trophy wife Agness (Lake Bell).

It's ComplicatedJane finds an odd attraction in having an affair with a married man - and doesn't mind sharing the details with her coffee-klatch gal pals who openly share each other's most intimate secrets. Jake is growing restless in his shallow marriage and thinks he and Jane should get back together. Should Jane continue the affair with her ex, or should she pay more attention to the meek architect Adam, who's drawing up plans for an addition to her house? Jane's dilemma soon enough becomes the film's central focus, but Meyers skillfully avoids leading us to one side or the other. We're drawn into Jane's predicament and we find a bit of light-hearted amusement playing along, realizing that neither option is particularly harmful.

Meyers will likely never be mentioned alongside the master filmmakers of the great classic romantic comedies from the days of old (although Something's Gotta Give might have something to say about that), but her ability to get the most from her cast can't be denied. The big fun in It's Complicated comes from the performances of its strikingly odd cast. Streep and Baldwin are fearless in playing to the film's strengths, while covering its defects with the greatest of ease. Love Baldwin, or hate him, there's no denying his comedic effect in It's Complicated. He finally looks like he's having fun and certainly doesn't mind poking himself with the ridicule stick. As for Streep, well, Streep is Streep. She's marvelous here, mixing it up teenage-like with the girls as easily as she entangles herself in the emotions needed to pull of the film's more complex moments.

Most of the supporting turns fall flat. Jane and Jake's children wander about the place from time to time but most are just staged on the set like furniture and aren't given anything to do, nor do any stand out. Rita Wilson, Mary Kay Place and Alexandra Wentworth fill in as the horribly used gaggle of girlfriends who overlaugh at Jane's jokes and threaten to degrade the whole thing into trashy teen rom-com territory. Steve Martin however, does give a delightful appearance and this may be his best comic acting in years. He alone makes a pot-smoking bit work to perfection and it's great fun to see him deliver his SNL dance with hips slung low and arms flailing at his sides. The Office‘s John Krasinski nearly steals the show as Jane's son-in-law who gets wind of the affair early on but struggles with what to do about it. His pained expressions, casual glances, and perfectly timed throat-clears provide plenty of belly-laughs.

It's Complicated is a sophisticatedly funny movie and a worthy addition to Nancy Meyers's stable of baby boomer porn. It never lets us forget that marriage doesn't have to mean the end of a relationship, and although it can get complicated, it can also be worth it.

Component Grades
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 27, 2010
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH; French, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); BD-Live; Social network features; Mobile features


Commentary Track:

  • With writer/director/producer Nancy Meyers, executive producer Suzanne Farwell, director of photography John Toll, and editor Joe Hutshing


  • The Making of It's Complicated (HD, 21 minutes)

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