Movie: It's complicated * * *
(15A, GENERAL RELEASE)
There's no getting away from it: It's Complicated has a tremendous amount in common with Something's Gotta Give.
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Like the 2003 Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton romantic comedy, it's written and directed by Nancy Meyers and concerns an accomplished, divorced older woman who, after a long barren spell, finds herself in considerable romantic demand. The twist here is that the main man who is chasing her is her ex-husband.
Meryl Streep is Jane Adler, a successful Santa Barbara businesswoman with three grown-up kids, who's only now getting over a rather messy divorce.
That was 10 years ago, when her lawyer husband Jake Adler (Alec Baldwin) ran off with a younger woman called Agness (Lake Bell), to whom he is now married.
When the Adlers decamp to New York to celebrate their son's graduation, Jake arrives without Agness, and when the kids go out he and Jane are left to their own devices. When they meet in the hotel bar, they start reminiscing, the wine flows and next thing you know they're in bed together.
When she gets back to California, Jane wants to forget this fling ever happened, but Jake has other plans. It turns out his marriage to Agness is no bed of roses. He yearns for the ease and comfort of his relationship with Jane, and launches a charm offensive to get her back. But soon he has a competitor in the shape of Adam Reynolds (Steve Martin), a mild-mannered architect. Pursued on two fronts, Jane struggles to make the right decision.
The good thing about Nancy Meyers is that she's just about the only person in Hollywood making romances about older women. And she does it well in the main. The bad thing is that it's all a bit contrived: Jane is exceedingly well off -- her house is straight out of Home and Garden, and her job is pretty perfect too. In Meyers' films, no blow will go unsoftened, and the emotions don't run very deep. But, nevertheless, It's Complicated is an entertaining and sometimes very funny rom-com, and Alec Baldwin is absolutely outstanding.