Oscar season is upon us, and the inclusion of Meryl Streep’s It’s Complicated as a Golden Globe Best Picture nominee for Comedy/Musical baffles me.
The story focuses on Meryl Streep’s character Jane, who is a cook/chef for fine cuisine (French I believe), owns her own restaurant/store and a mother of three grown up children (the smallest attending her first year in college). Jane has been divorced to Jake (Alec Baldwin) almost ten years but finds herself having an affair (!) with her ex-husband who is now married to his then mistress Agness (Lake Bell – people might recognize her from the short lived NBC drama Surface and Boston Legal). Jane is fairly happy finally, in her single life that she hires architect Adam (Steve Martin, the most normal of roles I have seen him in a long time) to build her the kitchen she has always dreamed of, in addition to redesigning other areas of her home. But with the recent affair with Jake, her life has turned a bit upside down as she copes with the strange position of being a mistress, and being able to figure out what she really wants out of her life.
The movie is an interesting and hilarious look at a couple who were divorced many years ago, playing the “what if” game. What if they had never gotten divorced? The setups and the situations that Jane finds herself in were funny, amusing, thanks to Alec Baldwin’s crazy Jake. One of my friends thought this movie was only for divorcees or if you’re old, but I am neither, and really enjoyed myself. There are some definite laugh-out-loud scenes that will leave you reeling, but I didn’t find myself absolutely loving it and thinking “this is an excellent film”.
Meryl Streep’s presence on screen immediately lifts the film from an okay film to an above average film, as she plays Jane in an adorable and likable manner. You want her to be happy, and all along, you’re not sure if you think that getting back with her former husband is the best idea.
Steve Martin, being the fairly normal and also divorced architect Adam was a bit strange to me too. Steve Martin playing normal felt abnormal that in the scenes that Meryl and Steve shared, though sweet, I didn’t feel there was much chemistry and that something was lacking.
All in all It’s Complicated is a very well done film. The music suits the feel of the movie, as does the beautiful scenes in Santa Barbara. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I would expect most anyone to go into the film and enjoy it as well.
But the only explanation for why Meryl was nominated for her role in this and why this movie was nominated, is that the category includes a weak field. I mean, Nine for Best Comedy/Musical? The reviews for it are so bad, both critical and audience. The Hangover, Julie & Julia? Strange choices, both of which I enjoyed a great deal, but find strange they were nominated. But the Golden Globes have never been a very good precursor for the Academy Awards, as recent year records have shown. I adore Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, and would love to see her win since I can’t see anyone else in that role, but the field is very weak, with Meryl receiving two nominations for her comedies this year.
Not to detract from the movie, as I would definitely recommend it, and think it would be very enjoying on a rainy afternoon if you’re looking for a few laughs. It’s hard to go wrong with Meryl.
Recommended. 3.5 croissants / 5 croissants