It's Complicated is a baby-boomer rom-com | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

It's Complicated is a baby-boomer rom-com 

click to enlarge Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in "It's Complicated" - PHOTO BY MELINDA SUE GORDON/ UNIVERSAL

It's Complicated opens Friday throughout the Triangle

Jane (Meryl Streep) and Jake (Alec Baldwin), the couple at the center of It's Complicated, pride themselves on their civilized divorce: Jake is now married to his tawny mistress, Jane runs a folksy bakery and, as far as we can tell, their three grown children experienced their split with a minimum of trauma. When their son's college graduation prompts a temporary family reunion, the estranged parents, loosened by drink, fall into each other's arms.

Writer-director Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give) isn't really interested in dewy first love, and why should she be? There are endless movies for the younger demographic, but baby boomers deserve romantic comedies of their own. Accordingly, Meyers is interested in what someone in his or her 50s or 60s (the "not dead yet" generation?) needs and deserves in a romantic relationship. Jake looks at his ex-wife and sees her relaxed in her skin and her job, and enjoying the mature companionship of her grown children. Seeing all this, Jake can only lust after the household he sabotaged with his adultery.

Although Meyer's lingering shots of croissant and kitchen can be derided as house-and-food porn, they have a point. Jake wants to return to the hearth symbolized by these shots, and his attraction to Jane is partly because she's the link to his former nuclear family. Jane seems both delighted and horrified by the possibility of reconnection with Jake. As she muses, they have grown into the people they wanted to be, free from the stress of establishing careers and raising children. The children, too, eye the possibility of a parental reconciliation with both fear and desire.

click to enlarge Meryl Streep and Steve Martin in "It's Complicated" - PHOTO BY MELINDA SUE GORDON/ UNIVERSAL

The deft comic timing of Streep, Baldwin and, as an architect and romantic prospect for Jane, Steve Martin, is a given, and John Krasinski is adorable as one daughter's perfect fiancé. As Jake, Baldwin is happy to mock his own bloated body and his character's delusion that he retains his youthful sexiness. The film seems to assume, too, that audiences think the idea of older people having on-screen sex is intrinsically funny.

Certainly, one can sympathize with Jane's dilemma: Do you have the strength to discover another person when someone in whom you have invested a score of years, like an ex-husband, reappears? In any event, the laughs keep coming, and there is a great comic set piece as the trio rediscovers the joys of smoking weed.

It's Complicated endorses a truth not so universally acknowledged in an age where self-fulfillment is a paramount value: An ordinary domestic life has a lot to offer.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

I was born and raised in Bertie County, and believe me, this was painful and beautiful to watch. I was …

by Tar Heels forever on Know More About Manhattan Than Your Embattled Neighbors in Rural North Carolina? Then See Raising Bertie. (Film Review)

Clint's film is trashy? maybe that's why all of us pigs would like to wallow in it.

by Jovana Dimitrijevic on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation