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its complicated
It's Complicated
Reviewer: Richard Tara
Director: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Lake Bell, Mary Kay Place, Rita Wilson, Alexandra Wentworth

Every now and then, a little a gem of a movie comes along and then disappears so fast that even a movie critic misses it.

The plot of “It’s Complicated” is quite simply a ménage a trios with a twist.  This time around, the other woman is the ex-wife.

Jane Adler (Meryl Streep) and Jake Adler (Alec Baldwin) have been divorced for over ten years.  Their two daughters and one son have grown up and left home.  Jake is a successful lawyer and Jane has her own bakery business.

Jake has moved on to marry a tall, attractive, sultry beauty Agnes (Lake Bell) who desperately wants another child.  Then Jake and Jane meet during their son’s graduation ceremony and the unexpected happens.  The pair are left alone in the same hotel; because their kids are having a party with their peers and Agnes is attending a meeting. They get drunk and end up in bed together. This rekindles their old passion even though Jane has serious guilt feelings about cheating with her own ex husband. But, Jake, who is unhappy in his relationship with his bossy wife and precocious son, is looking for a way out.  So, he persuades Jane to continue their secret relationship.

Meanwhile, Jane meets a tender divorced architect Adam (Steve Martin) who is working on adding an extension to her house and the two are attracted to each other.

One night, after attending a party and getting high, she concludes that Adam is the man that she truly likes and decides to end her liaison with Jake.  Jake comes to a different conclusion and leaves his wife thinking that Jane would take him back.    

This is an amusingly funny comedy/drama for adults written by someone who obviously has been there.  It is about grown ups and the kids are part of the props.  In some ways, it mirrors the life of the writer/director Nancy Meyers.  There are some real hilarious moments in this movie such as when Jane gets high on pot or when their future son in law, Harley (John Krasinski), discovers the pair meeting secretly at a hotel.  There is a sad sting near the end of the movie where Alec, unwittingly, destroys Jane’s relationship with Adam.  However, the movie ends on a positive note.

This simple and sweet story is written and directed from the point of view of the ditched wife and as such succeeds greatly.  John Krasinski as the prospective son in law is funny without trying to be and one wished he had a bigger role in the movie.  Steve Martin, without his silly beard, as the divorced architect is the perfect fit for his role. Alec Baldwin is an actor with diverse talents but his mischievous eyes and impish smile make him a perfect comic sap.   Meryl Streep is a fine actor.  I was just wondering if she had been understudying Hillary Clinton during her run for the nomination. She had the same hearty laughter that Hillary was famous for during the debates.  In all fairness, I like her more in comedies anyway.  And, she maintained the Meryl decorum.  We guess it is possible to have a liaison partially dressed on a bed, but who would want to?

I give this moviestarstar1/2 leaning to three.  There are scenes of smoking pot, handled in a mature way and sex, also handled tastefully.