Review: “It’s Complicated”

I could begin by talking about the myriad romantic comedies out there or the well tread tropes that they espouse. Or, I could talk about the older-man-younger-woman paradigm and how prevalent it's become in media and reality. But, I think I'll start by saying Meryl Streep has amazing hair. Its_complicated_ver2

Really, it could be another cast member in "It's complicated" the story of a 10-years divorced couple who give it another go. Between Streep's hair and the Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma/Food Network orgy set I could see why EW called this film "femme porn". But, I am going to take another tact and point out that this film is about the actors.

Face it: romantic comedies can only say so much about life, love, people and relationships. The plots of these films generally don't even matter too much and they're generally just a vague collection of circumstances that drive 2 opposites together. Here though we have 3 seasoned actors (Streep as well as Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) embodying archetypes of our age: The independent mother/divorcee, the cheating ex with the new young wife, and the newly divorced sensitive guy and playing them for all they're worth. They dance, laugh, and flirt with wild abandon and you can tell just by watching them that they are having a blast. Their energy is infectious and it raises the caliber of all of the actors in the film to their bests.

On that though is the sole downside of this fun romp, the supporting cast- with the lone exception of the delightful John Krasinski, is less than stellar. Their best is only 1/20 as good as the megastars they share the screen with and they simply drag down the film. Special mention goes to Weeds' Hunter Parrish as the recent graduate son for having possibly the least expressive face of any actor on the planet. He was like a talking blond wall through most of the film. And, the deeply pinchy Lake Bell as Agness, the young new wife, spends so much time scowling you forget that her role is to be ostensibly hot arm candy.

As a romantic comedy "It's complicated" is a cute fun ride that doesn't quite go where you expect it to go. But, as a vehicle for some stellar actors to have a great time it's even better. B+


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