‘It’s Complicated’: a look at divorce with benefits

Meryl Streep and Jeff Baldwin star in the comedy "It's Complicated" by Universal Pictures
Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin star in the comedy "It's Complicated" by Universal Pictures


With divorce being such a common occurrence in today’s society, “It’s Complicated” is an often-used phrase for an explanation of why a husband isn’t around anymore. And for Jane, (Meryl Streep) she is finally getting used to saying it. As a baker and homemaker, she is constantly on the go. Her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) has moved on and is married to “the other woman” who broke up his marriage. But when Jane’s youngest daughter finally leaves the nest for college, Jane is left alone in the big empty house. Then, when the family is all gathered in New York for the son’s graduation, Jane and Jake are left to their own devices while the kids partied. And with Jake’s second marriage in trouble, and Jane realizing she is now alone, the long extinguished flame between the two begins to flicker back to life. But now Jane is the other woman – the one she cursed for so many years for being a home wrecker – and she was now doing the same thing. Add in to the mix Adam (Steve Martin), Jane’s architect who is also recently divorced and falling for her. Jane has a decision to make: Does she continue to see a married man who used to be married to her and who she knows might just end up hurting her all over again, or does she take a chance on finding new love in a sweet gentle guy who genuinely likes her? It’s a great love triangle, it’s a great movie, and it definitely is complicated.
Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are three of the best actors around. And to get all three congregated in one movie like this is a perfect storm of comedy. Baldwin is perfect for this role. He was born to play Jake. His chemistry with Streep is 100% believable. Martin is known for his “out-there” characters and his huge comedy style, such as in “The Jerk” and “Three Amigos,” but seeing him play it down for this role was a nice change of pace. Sometimes when funny-men tone it down and go serious, it just looks odd and it looks like they’re trying really hard to be serious. With Steve Martin, it seemed to come naturally. He was just as good at playing the straight man here as he is in any of his other films. This isn’t a drama, not all serious, but to see him in such toned down role, it almost seems serious for him. And just like Jim Carrey and Robin Williams have done before him, the transition from comedy to subtlety is a good one. Definitely worth seeing especially for those who have ever wondered what it would be like to get back with your ex.
Rated R for some drug content and sexuality. Written and directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.