Monday, 2 January 2012

It's complicated (Meyers, 2009)


At the risk of sounding unoriginal by using that most overjuiced of cliches, this really is a heartwarming and empowering film.

A large part of the success of this film is due to the thespian institution that is Meryl Streep. She plays a blinding performance as a strong, stylish and sexy woman, despite being older than your average twenty-something rom-com protagonist. Supported by equally talented actors Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, whose characters provide perfect foils to each other, it's not easy to find fault with the impeccable acting that makes this film as watchable as it is.

The basic premise is a long-divorced couple reunite for a fling, despite Jake (Baldwin) being re-married to a younger model, and Jane (Streep) about to embark on a long-overdue new relationship with her architect  Adam (Martin).

What is so great about this film, is that for once it is not the woman who prematurely falls in love; It is Jake who leaves his new wife in the heat of the moment, hoping that Jane will take him back. Anyone with so much of a glimmer of inner-feminism will be jumping with joy when she walks away from him, a reversal of most films of this genre in which the woman is portrayed as the victim and the weaker character.

The one flaw that can be seen in the plot is that it's hard to get past the fact that Jane would consider being the other woman in her ex-husband's life after her own heartache; Although not a deception that this character would conceivably be part of, it creates a chink in her otherwise flawless armour, allowing the audience to warm further to her; a clever twist on the part of Meyers.

In addition to this, the chocolate croissant scene at the bakery is becoming one of my favourite rom-com scenes of all time,and is definitely worth a watch.

Despite the light-hearted route this film takes, it raises a genuine puzzle;would many divorced couples work the second time around, if they were to reunite 10 years later?

Not too mentally strenuous, but perfect for a quiet night in.

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