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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Nov 18: It's Complicated


Nov 18: It's Complicated

"When attending their son's college graduation, a couple reignite the spark in their relationship...but the complicated fact is they're divorced and he's remarried."
Directed by: Nancy Meyers, Rated: R, 120 minutes

It's Complicated is a fine example of a film about beautiful rich people with "normal" problems. Literally everyone on screen, from Meryl Streep to Alec Baldwin, and even their children, have anything they could ask for and enough money to buy anything else. They are all successful, good looking, and drink champagne with breakfast and wine with dinner. It's a cookie cutter ensemble of "upper" middle-class and as the audience, we watch everything get taken apart and put back together again in just 90 minutes. It's that easy. Aren't you jealous?


Successful and beautiful, Jane Adler (Streep) has it all. She has a booming bakery business that has the most gorgeous storefront and a house that's way too big for her to live in. Her ex-husband, Jake (Baldwin) is just as successful and happily remarried to Agness (Lake Bell). After the two meet up again for their son's college graduation, her loneliness and his desires cross paths and they end up in bed. With a little pep in her step and her ex's physical attraction rising, Jane is conflicted. To make matters worse, Adam Schaffer (Steve Martin), an architect working on her house, proves to be the exact thing she's been looking for. Thus, the title. It all gets complicated. 

As I mentioned, the over-the-top perfection of everyone's lives in the film is very frustrating. While one can argue that while you have everything, material-wise, it's the emotional core that makes you "rich", but it never really focuses on that. It's more of a heart-warming little romantic comedy that exists in this world and everything else is just the glossy finish. It's a movie that had to have been incredibly fun to make, as the three leads are legends in their own right. It's Complicated also glosses over the idea of divorce and leads you to believe rich people broken up get along swimmingly after going their separate ways. From what I know, when a wealthy couple breaks up, shit's divided like a storm and someone's out to get the other one. That aside, the film is still a bit entertaining. Streep, Baldwin, and Martin are all perfect in their roles and the collaboration is fun to watch. They certainly carry the weight of the film and the rich-problems complaints I have are easier to digest with the three of them, as opposed to lesser caliber and known actors.

 Nothing hides a wiener like a knock-off Apple product. 

It's Complicated is a safe little movie that's easy to swallow. The R-rating is pretty much for just one scene featuring the "devil's lettuce". It reminds me of something you'd watch on the holidays with your mom, aunts, and grandmothers as they all get drunk on boxed wine. It's a girly movie that's not just for the romantic comedy fans and has enough charm to make it worth your time. While I don't recommend running out to see it, it's something you can watch on a weekend evening when you've got nothing else to do. If anything, watch it for Alec Baldwin who's having a blast in the role and whose energy is contagious. But, I guess if I was this rich, I'd live a similar life as well. It'd be nice knowing rich problems are dismissed with a laugh and a glass of Merlot.

The Good:
three terrific central performances that elevate the film above decency
The Bad:
rich people with rich problems, all very hard to relate to
The Ugly:
wondering how many rich people actually have problems this... PG and the outcome of most of them

Overall: 6.4/10

Discussion Question:
Are films like this, The Father of the Bride, The Holiday, You've Got Mail, Something's Gotta Give, relatable?


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At November 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM , Anonymous Belinda said...

Had not heard of this but sounds like a good "I have nothing better to
do" movie and has streep so think I'll check it out! Thanks for the review!!

At November 23, 2012 at 8:20 PM , Blogger Nick said...

It's worth watching if you're bored and have absolutely nothing else to do. So yeah, tolerable lol.


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