It's Complicated: Maybe so, but you still cleared the bar.

Movie:It's Complicated
Company:Universal Pictures
Director:Nancy Meyers
Starring:Meryl Streep
Alec Baldwin
Steve Martin
John Krasinski
Lake Bell

        I enjoy a good romantic comedy, however my bar for “good” in that genre is set pretty high. Despite that, writer/director Nancy Myers clears this bar with “It's Complicated”. In it she continues to explore the theme of “courting in the older set” which made her previous film, “Something's Gotta Give”, a success.

        Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin play Jane and Jake. They've been divorced for ten years. Their relationship is polite, but distant. Jake is remarried to Agness, played by Lake Bell, the much younger woman for whom he left Jane. At the wedding of one of Jane and Jake's three children, the two find themselves unknowingly booked at the same hotel. The night before Jane is to head home, she runs into Jake, alone, at the hotel restaurant. Agness had to leave earlier when her spoiled brat of a son, who incidentally is not Jake's son, got sick. Jane and Jake agree to have dinner together instead of sitting at separate tables. They eat. They drink. They reminisce. They drink. They laugh. They have a little too much to drink and the former wife finds herself the current “other woman”.

        As the affair begins, Jane finds herself aggressively pursued by Jake, who thinks he's falling back in love with her, and timidly pursued by “nice guy” architect, Adam, played by Steve Martin. Martin plays a fairly straight, if not slightly depressed, role. Baldwin plays the well intentioned incorrigible who unfortunately can't help but make poor decisions. Jane, who realizes that she might have pushed Jake away in the first place plays the older woman with a choice between two suitors. Make no mistake, women are going to love this movie. Men will get more than a few good laughs out of it too. Maybe even at what might be becoming Ms. Meyer's trademark, a comic nude shot of the leading man's butt. Sorry, but as in “Something's Gotta Give”, it was funny.

        There was surprisingly little message in “It's Complicated”, which was appreciated. Although, I wouldn't argue if some saw a legalization agenda in the few scenes with a lax attitude toward pot. However, the one thing with which I did take exception was a graduation scene of one of Jane and Jake's kids. I can't stand when a movie tries to slip one by you, almost subliminally. A poster on a wall, a slogan on a t-shirt, a sticker on a locker, or in this case a seating row marker at a graduation. It was momentary, and most people would miss it. However, I understand that unless the director is a complete hack, which, clearly, Nancy Meyers is not, the shot of a frame is meticulously composed. Nothing is in the frame which is not intended to be there. So when I see a shot of a college graduation where the students are seated by degree, and each seating section is labeled by a sign, and the sign for “Liberal Arts” is partially masked so that only the word “Liberal” can be read, I know that it's not by accident. However, my only real beef was that “Liberal” should have read “Marxist”.

        Guys, I know sometimes it's tough going to the movies as a couple. You really want to see the latest action flick, but occasionally you have to give in and see a chick flick. So if you have to anyway, might as well make it a movie which you'll both enjoy. Bite the bullet and see “It's Complicated”.

Hollywood, STFU Rating: 1 Hammer and Sickle