Saturday, February 06, 2010

"It's Complicated" (2009) - Movie Review

A film I settled for since I missed the show for “Crazy Heart”, “It’s Complicated” scared the hell out of me when the bitching (pardon my French) session with Jane (Meryl Streep) and her lovely friends happened. They do not pour out their hearts rather live the dark side in the most disturbing and elaborate manner their deep inner feelings. But in comes Alec Baldwin with the spectacular Meryl Streep to make everything all right in a movie which happens in la-la land. Steve Martin at his calmness and right tinge of comedy does not hurt either. Who else than these three can make the beat up getting high in inappropriate routine so fun.

This feature directed by Nancy Meyers is a land of immense love that even the devil might insert the knife on innocence with scary costume and every one will be smiling about it. As much phony it gets, “It’s Complicated” pulls itself out of its misery through these wonderful actors. Add John Krasinski as Jane’s soon to be son-in-law Harley to that list. Jane has still trouble seeing her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) with his now trophy wife Agness ( I did not see that extra “s” coming) played by Lake Bell. Jake as a cliched old boy syndrome has his eye on Jane as well. This re-ignites their love for all the bad reasons.

Minus daddy Jake, the family is amazing. With three kids, the youngest Gabby (Zoe Kazan) who is not hot but cute and an adorable graduating brother Luke (Hunter Parish) and the big sister Lauren (Caitlin Fitzgerald). All is perfect as Jane has to live in a humongous and ridiculously rich house by herself. Lets build the dream kitchen to bring in Architect Adam (Steve Martin). There is so much need of hedonism around because no way in this world the terrible things of these people are going to feel well when they go on the spree of destroying themselves into bad decisions, one after another.

Jake has problems in his marriage which is kept on the bay with not knowing about Agness that well. As in these films where we are told whom to like and not like, an important character in the life of Jake and Jane is nothing but a hot tempered woman. She barely gets chance to speak out and her five year old song Pedro (Emjay Anthony) is there to annoy and teach us how it is to have a kid!

Despite these unsettling flaws, you see how great actors can be and turn around a film if they want. Alec Baldwin as the man desperate to get his previous wife back makes us forget how one does not get over someone for more than ten years. And that is the same reason Meryl Streep does so charmingly of a character we would terribly hate in other films. Baldwin and Streep makes Jake and Jane a couple in misery and how they are so right and so not as they wish.

As Jake continues his cheating record in his second marriage, Jane has to deal with the empty nest problem all by herself. This leads into her taking the route of having an affair with her ex-husband. Even the sentence of it makes is sound wrong but so are humans. The really disturbing part though is when Jane reveals that to her awesome friends and the reaction is nauseating. Jake is so convincing in getting Jane and Jane wants that for reasons we can understand but cannot put in words. She psychoanalyzes herself and comes with questions which all seem to be right. She does not need a new kitchen but a relationship to grow old.

“It’s Complicated” as much has so much dangerous capability of being the melodramatic feature sustains the ride to make it a romantic comedy and thanks for the genre Nancy Meyers seems to be used with. Steve Martin comes as the perfect gentleman and gets screwed as expected. When the apology session comes in the end, we see the adults these people are and accept the age. Even though Meyers gives a plausible attempt to be brave and take the high road in end, we know it is too good to last. “It’s Complicated” is a glossy and implausible tough comedy drama which escapes the death by some great actors and pleasant looking people these films always have. It advises on trying out the crazy side and draws comedy out of it but then it becomes the hypocrisy the parenthood needs and says that releasing the youth inside at their age is not always fun.

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