January 24, 2010

MOVIES: It's Complicated (Nancy Meyers, 2009)

Y'know, when the biggest probler a woman has is that her utterly spectacular kitchen isn't quite spectacular enough for her, it's awfully hard for me to give a crap about anything she's going through.

So I don't have much interest in the romantic travails of Jane (Meryl Streep) as she tries to decide whether to continue having an affair with her ex-husband Jake (Alec Baldwin) or get involved with the architect (Steve Martin) who's designing her even more spectacular kitchen.

Oh, the performances are fine, though Martin is utterly wasted; why bother to hire Steve Martin if you're not going to ask him to do anything remotely funny? But Streep is at least a bit more relaxed than she has been recently, with a lot less of that exhausting "look how hard I'm acting" attitude that made Doubt or Julie and Julia so hard to sit through.

Alec Baldwin gives the movie's best performance; he's loose and funny, and also hits the big dramatic scenes very well. If the Academy took comedy seriously, he'd be a contender for a Supporting Actor nomination this year.

Ultimately, though, it's a movie about the very small problems of very rich people, and we aren't given any reason to care about whether Meryl gets her new kitchen or not.

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