It’s Complicated

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Posted December 23, 2009 in Film

There are four reasons to see this movie and writer-director Nancy Meyers isn’t one. The first three are easy: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, a trio of titans on a tightrope between a surefire hit and their self-esteem. The fourth is Meryl Streep’s kitchen, a droolworthy kingdom fit for a culinary queen (which she again plays), where no human interaction is so important that it can’t be shot in the background behind a basket of tomatoes so red, round and perfect, you’d swear they were harvested on Jim Cameron’s Pandora. And here’s a reason not to see it: the script. Meyers recognizes that attraction is more than an on-off switch, but otherwise there’s no insight in this story of an upper class divorcee torn between her sleazy ex-husband (a Jaguar-driving lawyer now remarried to a young babe introduced with a close up on her abs) and the nice, easy-going architect redesigning her tediously perfect estate. Meyers needs this cast; all three have a Hollywood-bred immunity to being blamed for crap. But unless you’re prepared to see Baldwin grab Streep’s crotch and coo “Home sweet home,” or Martin slum it through the year’s 80th attempt to wring laughs out of gay panic, you’d best hold out for their next pictures. John Krasinski also fares fine as Streep’s good-hearted son-in-law.

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