This movie was a delightful, heart-felt comedy that was packed with star performances by Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, and the sweet John Krasinski, but had an unethical premise. The story follows Jane Adler (Streep) a divorced mother of three that owns a bakery and her ex-husband, Jake (Baldwin), a lawyer that has started a new family with the young mistress, played ever so sultrily by Lake Bell. The film begins with the feel of “life after divorce” for the modern family. The Adlers, after ten years, seem to have it down to a tolerant art. However, after a scandalous encounter while in New York for their son’s graduation the paradigm of their relationship shifts. While, Jake relishes in the new found excitement of an affair and hopes to continue the escapades, Jane is hesitant to disrupt her post-divorce life. Then, as if her life isn’t complicated enough, she begins a courtship with her nerdy architect, Adam (Martin).
Now, not being divorced, or even married for that matter, I think there are aspects of this film that I just don’t comprehend. But, omg, my jaw was on the floor during the scene in the psychiatrist’s office. He advised her to continue her adulterous relationship with her ex-husband! Does that sound crazy to anyone else? After that scene, I wanted a title change to “You’re Making it Complicated”. Clearly, I don’t agree with some of the choices that Jane makes, however, she does stand up for herself and her feelings when it comes down to it later in the movie. And I praise her for that.
But, oh how I love Meryl Streep! She played Jane with the breezy confidence, but a subtle vulnerability that made her “soft spot” for Jake completely believable. She was the strong, capable heroine that this kind of film needed in order to flourish. Alec Baldwin created a Jake that actually made my skin crawl, which worked with the character development perfectly. Also, you saw glimpses of regret and realization of responsibility to his past actions, but like any man-child they were only glimpses. Adam, on the other hand, was an excellent opponent in the fight for Jane’s affection. Martin brought a light, nervous sweetness to Adam’s character, along with the same kind of post-divorced vulnerability, which Jane complete understood. As for the secondary characters, Krasinski stole the show! Sorry to the three cookie-cutter kids, but Harvey (John Krasinski), the soon to be son-in-law, was the only sort of-sibling that brought depth to the scenes. Maybe I’m a little bias to the beloved Jim, but he was a delight every time he came on screen. With Harvey it was all in the eyebrows, he had the best nonverbal reactions to all of the “complications” in the film. And his chemistry with Meryl was great! I would love to see them together on screen again.
So if you’re in the mood for a fun, flirty flick that has some emotion and depth into post-marital bliss, it’s not a complicated choice… I give it a thumbs up!