Saturday, March 06, 2010

It's Complicated

Rating : 8/10
Release Date : Dec, 2009
Time : 120 minutes
Director & Writer : Nancy Meyers; Music : Heitor Pereira, Hans Zimmer
Starring : Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, Alexandra Wentworth, Hunter Parish

It’s a tribute to a very tight script, wonderfully built characters and some very funny touches that make this bittersweet film about the angst of divorce and reunification, a true treat to watch.

Ten years after their divorce, both Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin find themselves confronted by the prospect of getting together again. Alex is currently married to a Spanish hottie, several years younger than him, complete with a five year old son from her previous life. And Meryl has now grown comfortable with the idea of being single, and is devoted to her three kids, all grown up, with one graduating and another about to get married.

So, as the title suggests, when after many goblets of wine later, they meet and chat and then proceed to sleep together, it sparks a chain of events that are hilarious, real and sweet all at the same time.

Alec Baldwin is shown to be a nice, bumbling, enthusiastic, error prone guy. He’s got a zest for life, for the good things in life and above all a great sex drive for a man his age. Meryl Streep, is now running a successful enterprise, is a great cook, has good friends, manages her kids well and is finally settling in. Even doing some long overdue renovations to her house and getting the kitchen she always wanted. And the architect for the kitchen is Steve Martin, who’s himself divorced, still recovering, and seems to anticipate Meryl’s every architectural need very well. The kids have their own issues, they’re still adjusting to the divorce, their own lives and like most divorced kids would be really happy if their parents got together again. The eldest daughter is about to get married in fact, to John Krasinksi and there are some hilarious situations he is put through as well.

I think the crowning glory of the movie is the scene involving a skype conversation between Steve and Meryl. It was hysterical. Most of the dialogue carries a delicious double entendre ‘I’m married to a five year old and Pedro’ from Alec Baldwin. Or ‘I have an ex with benefits’ from Meryl. Or ‘Fun is not overrated’ from I forget whom. There is a sequence surrounding hash which was brilliant. There are no bad guys, no squirmy situations Its all so naturally, so engagingly done, you forget you’re in a movie.

Meryl continues to amaze me – she fits into each of her roles so convincingly, its hard to imagine her as anyone else. In Julie & Julia she was this eccentric cook. Here, slightly giddy, slightly fun, slightly prone to self-doubt, with her hair all golden and loose around her shoulders, its easy to forget she’s 60 or thereabouts.
Alec makes you love him even though you know he’s cheating. Its his joie de vivre, his ‘I love life’ attitude which is infectious. Steve Martin for a change is understated, no over the top antics a la Pink Panther or Father of the Bride but a person who is still tender from his divorce of over two years, listening to car self-help tapes about breaking up and not entirely sure where he’s going in his personal life.

Beautiful people, beautiful music, beautiful settings, biting dialogue. Really, what more can you ask for ?

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