After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]

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It’s ‘Complicated’ – but any good?

By |2018-01-15T16:27:05-05:00December 31st, 2009|Entertainment|

Two words are all it takes to turn Meryl Streep’s straight-laced spinster divorcee into a saucy sexpot. “Let go,” her shrink’s broad advice, apparently equates to this: smoke pot, embrace your naked out-of-whack body, and flaunt it in front of your remarried ex. Oh, and have sex with him again and again. And again.
So Jane, a middle-age-ish mom and bakery owner, does in “It’s Complicated,” the latest from Nancy Meyers, director of the smart “Something’s Gotta Give” and the charmingly overstuffed “The Holiday.” In Meyers’ star-powered, usually-funny and self-righteous romp, Streep’s Jane is practically celibate, all till she gets wasted on some wine with her remarried ex-hubby Jake (Alec Baldwin) at the graduation getaway of their really hot son. Booze leads to bed, where the two do the Tiger Woods.
Jane’s all guilty, but her girlfriends go nuts for this affair – because, based presumably on one of their stupid gab fests, they worried her vagina would close up, as if it were a paper cut or something. No worries there, as Jane’s guilt dispels. But there’s still a problem: The architect (Steve Martin), who she’s grown fond of – and vice versa – since he began re-designing her lavish Santa Barbara home.
So it’s not really all that complicated, but definitely full of some very silly sitcom humor (i.e. a butt-baring video chat scene), superstar power and lines that might not otherwise be funny if an A-lister like Meryl Streep wasn’t the one delivering them (how can you not laugh at one of Hollywood’s most legendary thespians deadpanning “I prefer a lot of semen” as if she’s requesting extra mayo on her sandwich?).
Meyers, for all her simplistic, spotty screenwriting, knows how to cast a romantic comedy, thus salvaging the oft-forgettable fluff they usually are. Streep, in all her beguiling beauty, guileless giggles and masterful comedic timing, is abiding yet again as a confused, lonely anti-cougar. And again, she’s a culinarian, whipping up delicacies that sound straight out of a Julia Child cookbook (funny enough, Streep played her in “Julie & Julia” earlier this year).
As Jake, Baldwin’s got real game, granting guffaws with his overconfident, piggish part that’s even got a little of Jack “30 Rock” Donaghy’s astute directness. Together, much like Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in the surprise hit “The Proposal,” they make “It’s Complicated” better than it actually is.
A lot’s riding on their mighty performances, considering the stark part-time help from lesser characters. Martin’s a snoozy cipher until he gets high in one of the movie’s funniest scenes, and Streep’s three cookie-cutter kids are whiney, dramatic-baiting devices who don’t act their age. Only John Krasinski as Jane’s buffoonish son-in-law rises above the rest, especially when he realizes there’s some hotel hanky-panky going on.
But even the up-to-snuff actors can only do so much in covering up for Meyers, who still bloats her movies to the max. “It’s Complicated” is verbose (needless: the girlfriend get-togethers), convenient (Jane bumps into Jake everywhere – at a bar, at a fertility clinic, etc.) and idealistic (Jane is single, but she still has a better life than you).
As is Meyers’ modus operandi, love overshadows logic, and so this cute, frothy flick is like an adorable 8-year-old that you just can’t hold a grudge against. Especially with towering talent like Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin at the core of it all, spouting off about semen and sex. Come just for them.

Grade: B-

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.