Pros: Funny, witty, and built on real feelings and not screwball situations.
Cons: How many muffins do you have to sell to get a house like that?
It's Complicated (2009) Written and Directed by Nancy Meyers
Jake: I'm sorry.
Jane: How far back does that 'sorry' go?
Jake: How far back do you need it to go?
Jane: Wa-ay back.
Jane (Meryl Streep) is attending the graduation of her son, Luke (Hunter Parrish). There is a cozy scene with Luke's proud poppa, Jake (Alec Baldwin) and two of their oldest friends. Then a slinky little minx of a girl in a completely hawt and totally inappropriate outfit joins them, and we learn the first complication. Jane and Jake are divorced, and the slutpuppy Agnes (Lake Bell) is not their daughter, but Jake's new wife.
Jane has gotten on with her life. It has been ten years since the divorce. In that time she has built a house that looks like a Spanish style palace, founded her own business where she must sell a million muffins a week, and generally learned to cope.
In the same time, Jake and Agnes have gone through her leaving him, taking up with some young dude, getting pregnant, dumping him, and going back to Jake, and presenting him with Pedro (Emjay Anthony) my pick to play Dameon Thorne in the remake of the Omen.
Pedro gets the stomach flu, and while the kids are at Luke's going away party, Jane and Jake run into each other in the hotel bar. Several bottle of pinot noir later, and cognac, Jane and Jake are dancing together, ending up with a horizontal mambo back in her room. She is horrified.
But not as much as when it happens again a few days later. It is official, she is having an affair with her ex-husband, and she is the other woman!
Delicious vengeful irony aside, there is a further complication. Jane has met a very nice man, Adam (Steve Martin), the architect building her addition. (One person needs even MORE house?) And there is a real attraction building here.
Next complication; Harley (John Krasinski) the fiancé of their oldest Lauren (Caitlin Fitzgerald) spots them checking into the hotel for a quickie while he is planning their wedding. He also sees the doctor who rushes up (Jake fainted, probably the Flomax) so now he has a secret to keep.
And let's just really make it complicated, and throw Jake, Jane, Agnes and Adam all at the same party, and throw in a monster joint. (Do you poke smot?) What will she do? Return to the familiar, or take a chance with getting a new relationship right?
I love this movie. I did not expect to. I am not a big fan of romantic comedies. Of course most romantic comedies are not about people who are damn near 60. This is wonderful because of its very real component. You can believe these people (except for the fabulous accommodations.) especially Jane and her three cronies. I particularly loved Harley, who folded into the family so well, from bouncing with excitement for Gabby, to keeping Jane and Jake's secret, calling Jane "Boss", taking the shotgun from Jake...great performance.
They are all great performances. They have problems, and they are as real as any of the dramas about the end of the world. And they muddle through. Not rise victorious, not find the perfect thing to say to turn it around in one moving win one for the Gipper speech, they just muddle.
Of course, the best parts are Meryl, Steve and Alec. Three fine actors bound in a ménage a trio of errors. Meryl does this little thing when she's flustered that looks like she is having a hot flash. Alec Baldwin gets naked.... (Not really, just mostly. The hiney shot is actually a body double.) That is brave for a man of his age and...dimensions.
All in all, they manage to pace it like an action movie, but keep the drama on the strictly mundane level. I guess that is why I found it so appealing. It's a good little movie. Enjoy, it's not complicated at all.
This is an entry into Captain D's Good Movies Write Off.