Actress Meryl Streep seems to have softened her attitude toward divorce in the 30 years since “Kramer VS. Kramer.” In “Kramer,” there’s no way her character would have jumped back in the sack with her ex (Dustin Hoffman).
Yet, that is what she does in “It’s Complicated.” And she does it a lot and has a lot of fun doing it. Of course, her ex is played by Alec Bald win at his “30 Rock” –“SNL” comic best.
A cute romantic comedy from writer-director Nancy Meyers, “It’s Complicated” is mining the same humor lode she did so deftly and daftly in 2003’s “Something’s Gotta Give”: The aging middle aged man with the trophy sex partner, who opts for the mature still-sexy woman. The kink in “Complicated” is the “ex” factor, which introduces a certain fantasy or nightmarish element to many living in the world of divorce.
Here, Jake and Jane Adler (Baldwin and Streep) find themselves alone together in a New York bar after attending the college graduation of their son, Luke (Hunter Par rish). Though barely on speaking terms for the past decade, they begin drinking, then dancing, then… While Jake’s a fast talker, the seduction is a little too quick. But, this is Holly wood where reality often doesn’t play a role.
Always the adulterer, Jake is particularly intrigued by this strange twist to infidelity, which he is happy to continue back home in Southern California. Jane is a bit turned on to the payback to Agness (Lake Bell), Jake’s young wife, who originally stole him from her. A problem, however, is Jane’s recent attraction to shy architect Adam (Steve Martin in a less than “Wild and Crazy” mode). Watching from the sidelines is Adler son-in-law Harley (John Krasinski), who must promise to his in-laws to keep his mouth shut about the old folks’ shenanigans. Meyers manages the crazy circus like a ringmaster. The center spotlight should belong to Streep, but is shamelessly stolen by Baldwin, who has smarminess down to an art. Streep is fine as a nurturing suburban earth mother. She never gets mad, though she has ample opportunities, opportunities that prior Mey ers’ heroine Diane Keaton would never miss. So the comedy comes from Baldwin, since Martin plays it almost straight. Go see “It’s Complicated.” It’s divorce that can only happen on the silver screen.