It's Complicated


It's Complicated - Emer Breen

10 Points

Viewer Rating:Emer Breen has rated It's Complicated rating: 4 Star


This movie is the real comedy treat of the season, and is perfect for all women out there who (like me!) enjoy nothing more than a good old-fashioned, familiar romantic comedy about love, divorce and the rocky road in between. It's Complicated is written and directed by the superbly talented Nancy Meyers (who also gave us gems such as What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give and The Holiday) and who has now found her comfort zone in gentle, relaxed, warm romcoms about adults facing "complications" as they strive for emotional fulfillment. Arguably, this is her best yet and she doesn't stray too far from what made her previous holiday hits work so well. As in most of her films, the upscale lifestyle is a splendid pleasure to behold with beautiful people, exotic locations and palatial homes. In this movie, she cleverly directs a superb cast including Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Her films often explore love found in unexpected places and remind us that nothing in this world and especially true love is plain sailing. We get great satisfaction form watching mature love blossom and the many immature sexual escapades are a hilarious treat.

"It's Complicated" is an endearing, charming fairy-tale middle-aged sex comedy that gives us an insight into a relationship that has withered and died amidst the humdrum realities of children, routine, dishonesty and hardship, but it is surprisingly revived again under illicit circumstances. We get enjoyment from watching the luck of middle-aged women who are wealthy enough to maintain a delightful standard of living after a divorce. We can all dream that, in a similar situation, we could become the triumphant ex-wife desired all over again by her ex-husband. And not only that but she is being hotly pursued by another elegant, sophisticated and successful middle aged man, it can't get much better that that! I have heard critics describe this flick as "middle aged female porn" and I can see why. It is a pure guilty pleasure that lets us glimpse into the world of the fabulously wealthy - lavish parties, enormous picture-book Santa Barbara mansions being remodelled, magazine layout kitchens with 3 ovens and large farm house tables adorned with bowls of red apples and magenta plums, luscious gardens, draped wardrobes and mouth watering dishes being prepared at every turn. I reckon Meyers is a secret interior designer at heart ! One of her talents is that she can evoke a dreamy, fantasy world where cynicism, sarcasm and hatred are banished and true love, honesty and loyalty still win the hearts of grown women.

This will undoubtedly be a surefire success - a hilarious and ultimately delightful comedy exploring a tricky extramarital affair between formerly married fiftysomethings in Santa Barbara. We are invited into the easy breezy lives of the very rich adults where children have moved out and host parties at their own tastefully decorated homes, ex-husbands leave for younger women but still chit chat at fabulous parties, handsome architects chase you and trips to gorgeous hotels are as frequent as trips to the hairdressers!


The clever plot is played out in the best terms. We follow a spurned divorcee caught in a love triangle with her ex husband and her new love. As the movie opens, upscale chef/owner of a thriving bakery business - Jane Adler (played by the iconic Meryl Streep) is at a lavish garden party where she unexpectedly collides with her ex-husband of 10 years - Jake (played by a podgy-looking Alec Baldwin), with his much younger second wife, Agness (the beautiful Lake Bell). The two have an enviably easy, amicable, pleasant relationship which hasn't dissolved like the marriage has. But Jane feels alone in her palatial Santa Barbara home - a fleshy fiftysomething in her artful world of wealth, she longs for something more. She yearns for the toned, flaunted bare midriff of Agness (who is still physically "perfect" even after having a son 5 years ago). When Jane and Jake find themselves together in New York for the graduation of their middle son's from college, things start to get complicated. What starts off as an innocent meal together turns into the unimaginable. Wine starts flowing, sparks start flying and the wishful reminiscing lead the two to dangerously dive head first into an unplanned, alcohol fuelled affair which disgusts Jane, Although she resists, they are drawn together and find themselves rekindling the sparks of their marriage, as Jake longs for more mature companionship. The tables are turned, Jane has now become the mistress!

Further complicating matters is when Jane begins to renovate her perfect home with the help of her architect Adam (played by the reliably funny Steve Martin). He falls hard for her but soon realises he's gotten into more than he bargained for. While Jane simultaneously embarks on her secret affair, it results in some amusing girlie screaming and scheming with her jealous pals. There are more hilarious scenes than I can count, amongst them when her son-in-law to be (John Krasinski - hilarious as always) catches Jane and Jake on their way to a dirty night of passion, when Jane and Adam get stoned at a family party, and my personal favourite - when Jake accidentally flashes his naked body to a stunned Adam - you have to see it!


As is always the case, the prize goes to Streep who plays an icon of an accomplished, sophisticated, successful and radiant woman. Her accomplished character reminded me of her turn in Julie and Julia earlier this year and for both of these roles, I hear well deserved oscar bells ringing (yet again!). She continues to astound in the full bodied roles writtten for a woman over 50. She carries herself admirably onscreen and is wonderfully adept at comedy which she proves in a laugh-out-loud scene smoking pot with Martin. This movie keeps her outstanding record of remarkably successful comedic hits going and without a doubt, this leading lady looks effortlessly charming and fabulous in every scene.

Baldwin is also thoroughly enjoyable, stealing every scene he's in. He's portrayed as a gregarious live wire, who, at age 60, can still grab a young sexy bimbo. He is a blast and enthusiastically shares his fun with the audience. His comedic timing is perfect. More than once, he even strips down to his jocks and shamelessly reveals his rather bulky midriff. As is to be expected, the refined Streep plays a much more modest role in these scenes. An amusing early scene is when he bumps into Jane at a medical office where he's visiting a fertility clinic and he's and she's going to a plastic surgeon.

Steve Martin is completely engaging and likeable and plays the straight, modest gentleman in Jane's life who has been hired to design an (unnecesssary?) addition to her already beautiful home. He too is still suffering from a failed marriage but the problem is that he's sincere, honest and an all around nice guy who finds it hard to compete with Jake. A raucously funny scene is where the 2 decide to spice up their date by sharing a marijuana cigarette. This results in the two giggling a lot at a party and as Adam becomes more fun, Jake becomes more enraged as he looks on.


It's Complicated gives us endless holiday cheer and is perfect for a fun night out. It's just such a smart, sophisticated and downright hilarious comedy. This glossy film will have an almost universal appeal, I took my other half and he loved it! The most responsive audience will be amongst women on a girls's night out. One of the most racy moments had us all in heartfelt chuckles when we witness Baldwin's private parts being accidentally Skyped to an astonished Martin. Undoubtedly the picture comes in a deluxe package with keen attention paid to the material delights of the carefree upper class, show biz folks living in New York
You will watch this family who snuggles and eats popcorn, this woman who bakes chocolate croissants on a romantic night out, this divorced couple who fondly reminisce over their past and you will dream…... There are numerous pleasures to be found in this movie, with the sharp script and sterling cast, there are big big laughs and it all succeeds so brilliantly that I am positive the crowds will flock to see it in their droves!

I have no doubt that this film will do extremely well in the box office and I for one, will be going to see it again!! For me, movies just don't come any funnier than this, at least ones which are aimed at smart thinking adults :)

Review published on the 11 January 2010 11:10


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a good laugh - De

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well worth watching - greta

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Very Good - jennith

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Chick-Flick... - eamonndunphy

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brilliant - lisa

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25 January 2010 09:30

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Its complicated - nyc152

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Good but not great - Rory

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22 January 2010 23:50

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A funny movie with a difference - Beaver

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An uncomplicated,good old-fashioned laugh! - paula galvin

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22 January 2010 00:39

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No surprises here - andrewire

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Entertaining... - Linz

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decent enough movie - Mars

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It's Complicated - Reviewer T

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Great Film! - April

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a comedy with the Title "It's Complicated" should say it all. - alex

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Pretty funny - Maria

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15 January 2010 17:50

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Good, Funny Movie - mortman1512

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Awful - only 2nd movie I've ever walked out half way through - tomm

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Very entertaining - Helen

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Not funny and not romantic - Ciaran Flynn

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Decent Chic Flic - Siobhan L

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Give rom-coms a break - orl

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best film - kelly

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08 January 2010 18:49

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A Good Laugh Streep is Brilliant - jennith

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