By Don Simpson | December 24, 2009
Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Staring: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Rita Wilson, Alexandra Wentworth
Do not let the name fool you – It’s Complicated is actually as simple and formulaic as Hollywood rom-coms can get…
Jane (Meryl Streep) has been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for quite some time. Jake has moved on to marry a much younger and nubile Agness (Lake Bell) while Jane remained single and abstinent. Jake and Jane share a few (actually quite a lot) drinks one night and next thing Jane knows, she has become the much dreaded home-wrecker. Around this same time, Jane becomes more than just friends with her new architect Adam (Steve Martin) and (Streep) finds her long dry spell quenched by not one man but two. At this point, the formulaic plot becomes a skipping record as the confused Jane bounces back and forth between Jake and Adam over and over and over again. It is enough to make your head spin – but it is far from complicated. Oh, and there is no point in even mentioning Jane and Jake’s three kids because they could be Cabbage Patch dolls for all we know.
All in all, It’s Complicated is funny but it also suffers from existing purely in LA LA land. Jane, a single mother of three children for many years, has somehow found a way to hold together a life that only exists in the dreams of middle America – she effortlessly runs an extremely lucrative yet self-sufficient restaurant and lives in an amazing and immaculate house (in which she lives alone, yet has hired Martin’s firm to construct a large addition). Jake’s life is no less idealistic – he is a partner at a law firm, yet we never see him at work (he spends most of his days at doctor’s offices, hotels and stalking Jane). These two characters never break a sweat yet the only hardship they have is that neither of them is satisfied with his/her love life. In this world, laziness sure does pay off.
The storyline is purposefully (?) geared toward a very narrow demographic of 50-something Caucasian females (more specifically urban intellectuals living on the coast – more specifically LA and NYC) – It’s Complicated is whiter than white bread – who are open to smoking pot and frank conversations about mid-life sex. In other words, It’s Complicated – unlike Jane’s chocolate croissants – is by no means a recipe for success.