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It’s Complicated

Digital Three Stars
There's always something that draws you to a film, whether it be the visuals, director, the promise of the story, or an actor, with It's Complicated there were two very clear reasons. Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep.

For me both actors are getting better with age, and while they may have chosen the comedy route for their later careers it hasn't damaged or diluted them, unlike some big name actors I could mention.

The prospect of seeing them both starring next to each other and being drawn in by the ease in which they act and their superb comic timing was enough to make me want to see the film.

So it was a nice surprise that I was sent it to watch when I hadn't had a chance to see it in the cinema. A nicer surprise to find that Steve Martin was in the film playing a normal person and not killing the memory of a great comic actor, and that the film came from Nancy Meyers.

Yes there was a lot going for it, but then I'd heard it wasn't anything special and that it didn't pull in the crowds that they were after.

So I was even more surprised to find out that I enjoyed it.

Plot.pngItsComplicated.jpgThe film tells the story of a divorced couple, happily moving on with their lives. Years after the divorce she is coping well and has just pulled her life together. She's started doing the things that she always wanted to do and becoming her own person again.

While she's beginning to find her feet he's discovering what life really is like with his newer, younger model. The woman he had an affair with is now his wife. He looks after her spoiled and insufferable child while she pressures him onto fertility treatment so they can have another, something he's rather reluctant to do.

A chance meeting between the two and before you know it he's attracted, and she's confused. Will they rekindle their relationship with an affair, the very reason that theirs broke apart in the first place?

TheFilm.pngThe overriding attraction of this film without a doubt are the two lead actors, or rather the actor and actress. Alec Baldwin is superb and demonstrates an ease of acting reflected by Meryl Streep. They work well together and have a great comic timing, the way they bounce off of one another is great to watch and really makes you believe in their characters, not to mention the fact that they both appear to be having a great deal of fun on set.

As well as all that there are some pretty tough real life moments for them both and they do ably convey the depth of these moments, even if the film doesn't keep with them, you do understand just how hard these characters are finding some of their real life moments, and again, both Streep and Baldwin carry these moments off with ease.

I do think it's a shame that some more wasn't made of these moments, but then I guess the tone of the film would change from comedy to drama far too easily. It does touch on the stronger aspects of two people dealing with divorce well enough for you to pick up on and understand, but not so much so that you find the film, and your mood, has been overwhelmed by them.

It's the playful and comic moments and the warmer, touching scenes that they share together that provide the most enjoyment. Sometimes the looks the share and the unsaid or improperly said moments are enough to convey their thoughts and emotions, something that these two actors do so well together.

They are both helped along by a good script and strong direction, as well as a good supporting cast, and it's Steve Martin that stands out in that support the most there for me. His portrayal of a sad, newly divorced man looking to date again is rather good, devoid of his usual humour, apart from the real life comedic moments that occur around him, and played very flat, again without fear of overusing the phrase, with reality.

The story works well too. It's a very modern and adult look at divorce and relationships. To a degree, perhaps confined by the comedic limitations, it understands men and women and looks at both love, lust and companionship through the story.

Something that surprised me is that it doesn't make many judgements about the characters and their situations and instead tells them as they are. In the case of the man it presents a possible reason and understanding of why men stray without trying to analyse it or find and present a definitive answer.

I found that quite surprising, I did expect it to present the female character in a better light than the man, and for the man to be shown as the character who is in the wrong, however Nancy Meyers writes it well and without taking any judgemental viewpoints.

There are a lot of refreshing points about the film and the story, but the biggest is the ending which is perhaps not exactly what you'd expect. Again it's a nice reality check rather than a look to the straightforward Hollywood scripts you usually read about.

Picture.pngiTouch Widescreen
The picture is good and holds up very well on the small, glossy screen. The colours are bright and vibrant, reflecting the shooting style.

Audio.pngiTouch Stereo
The audio track doesn't carry anything that really warrants anything more than stereo, and even then there's not much call for it. I didn't even notice any directional aspects of the audio throughout the film.

Overall.pngIt's Complicated is a good fun comedy that also has quite a healthy grounding in reality without compromising the comedic aspect of the film. It has two superb performances from Alex Baldwin and Meryl Streep who show excellent comic timing and deliver a good script providing for plenty of laughs and amusement.

It isn't made that complicated, and on the whole is quite light, but it is rather refreshing and presents the comedy values without the need to over analyse and point the finger at either party. You could say it's a healthy, adult comedy.

Buy from It's Complicated on iTunesiTunes
UK IMDB Film Details



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