IT'S COMPLICATED wants to be a romantic-comedy that subverts convention by giving us an old formerly married couple indulging in an affair. Whether or not you will like this film basically rests on whether you find the concept of Meryl Streep declaring, "turns out, I'm a bit of a slut" funny or not. Sadly, writer-director Nancy Meyers does not develop the humour beyond the initial concept. Oh, I forget, she has ex-husband and current lover Alec Baldwin sneak around Meryl's house peering into windows at her new date (a completely under-used Steve Martin). Baldwin trips and falls. Oh, how funny.
Thin comedy aside, what else does this movie offer? A risible attempt to actually examine the impact this affair would have on the husband's new younger wife, her son, and on the couple's grown children. Any attempt at emotional profundity is undercut by the fact that the script is superficial; Alec Baldwin simply doesn't have the acting range; and Meryl Streep chooses not to use her god-given talent but instead simply mugs to camera.
Worst of all, this movie - which seeks to oh so daringly depict love among the fifty-somethings as a valid concern in our youth-obsessed age - is itself ludicrously obsessed with surface appearance. Indeed, it plays less like a rom-com and more like a feature length advertisement for life in Santa Barbara - all gorgeous properties, perfect interior design, chi-chi food stores, and sweeping drives. When Meryl Streep laments the fact that it took her ten years to get over her divorce and feel confident enough to remodel her house and get the kitchen she always wanted, you look at her current kitchen and wander what the fuck is her problem.
Overall, this is a movie about a bunch of people who live a life of over-designed ease. They are all basically self-obsessed and unlikeable. I didn't buy that they were having a genuine emotional journey. I didn't want them to live happily ever after. I wanted the movie to end very, very quickly indeed.
IT'S COMPLICATED was released in the US, Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Canada, Finland, Spain and Norway in 2009. It is currently on release in the UK, Australia and Argentina. It opens next weekend in Israel, Russia, Singapore and Estonia and opens on the 21st in Denmark, Germany and Sweden. It opens in Croatia on January 28th, in Romania on February 19th, in Japan on February 19th and in Brazil on February 26th. It opens in Turkey on March 5th and in Italy on March 19th.