REALITY: The first act of this film made me laugh quite a bit more than I thought it would, considering I didn't think I would laugh at all.
The premise is that good old Meryl Streep is divorced with older kids who are all finally moving out of home. Her ex-husband, Alec Baldwin, is now married to a much younger woman who he no longer loves and Baldwin and Streep begin to have an affair. Meanwhile, Streep meets Steve Martin, a single man who she really connects with. Baldwin gets jealous and hilarity ensues.
As a premise I honestly thought I would find this troubling or at least a little strange, but it's presented in a fairly easy to stomach way. Also, Alec Baldwin is funny. Admittedly I had a couple of drinks in me while watching this, but some of the Baldwin moments had me doing the full on belly laugh. Meryl Streep is also ridiculously used to being on screen, so much so that her performances feel effortless and honest. I know that sounds like the cheesiest praise ever, but let me give you an example of what I mean:
During one of the more excruciating scenes of the film Streep is talking to her group of girlfriends, telling them about her dirty little secret. Streep is very excited and laughing and blushing, etc, and I believe every second of it. Her friends, however, are not the same caliber of performers as Streep is so when they act excited, laughing and blushing, all I can see is four women making complete asses of themselves, cackling like geese and flapping their arms about. I might not like a lot of the film choices that Streep makes (Mamma Mia was indescribably embarrassing and Julie and Julia was watchable but Streep had to have the most annoying voice ever because she was portraying a real person) but she deserves all the ridiculous amount of praise she gets.
Anyway, back to It's Complicated. Baldwin was winning this film for me, until he got all serious. He was a fat buffoon and I was into it, and then he got all 'I'm so lownwy' and I couldn't stomach it anymore. The one thing that I liked about the film was gone so I eagerly awaited the closing credits. It's also painfully obvious who the target audience of the film is, which is kind of lazy. This could have been an old school 1980s funny romcom; all the elements are there, even if Steve Martin has turned into a Chinese android, but the film makers are trying to please their target audience way too much and alienating everyone else. I first felt this 'alienation' during the girlfriends scene that I mentioned above. The four women who are quacking away are the audience. Women who have been divorced, or are at least in unhappy marriages, fantasizing about running their own bakeries and adding extensions to their houses and having loving children and adorable son-in-laws and being able to cook food that people worship and being more desirable to their ex-husbands than thinner, younger women. The scene where this placating is at it's height is when Baldwin and Streep are in a hotel room for the afternoon in order to have some sexy time, and Baldwin has a mini-heart attack or whatever due to taking the wrong medication or something, so Baldwin and Streep spend the afternoon all snuggly in their hotel robes, sitting in bed eating ice-cream and watching Oprah. HAH! I'm not even making this up. It's like watching fantasy porn for middle aged American women. Very strange.
Anyway, I laughed at Baldwin and this film and premise had potential, but then it died in the arse and I lost all interest.