Friday, December 25, 2009

- C A M P O ' S L I F E -

Unwrapping Christmas release, Its Complicated
By Tom Smeeth... Get the DVD.
Deliciously decadent. Sleekly seductive: Streep is stupendous, Baldwin ballsy.
... There you have it – suitable for printing. However, be forewarned: All superlatives are apt descriptions for the new Streep-Meyers vehicle, an entertainment experience that will have you laughing in the new Christmas Day film, It’s Complicated. You may struggle with some ethical choices the characters make – but they provide for the ride. It’s a fun romp to enjoy vicariously! See it in a full theater audience roller coaster ride.
... By final credits, everyone gets taken through the ringer. Meryl Streep lets loose, lets it fly, and watch out! Alec Baldwin holds his own throughout the movie, which is pretty darn good. Martin and Kraskinski score big, too. ... While in the end, it’s not really all that complex, Complicated is definitely fun. ... For full review, see comment....


  1. ... Sure, the Hollywood depiction of ‘normal life’ way above the means of most – if not practically all, the American populace. Let’s get serious: this film is a leading ambassador of that American propaganda machine, impossible dreams. Plenty to demonstrate how modern lifestyle choices are the undoing of our society – a conversation well worth having, but, why ruin a good fantasy with such a moral high-road here?
    The fast pacing takes you on the ride without sacrificing connection with the characters. A good self-satisfying romp-comedy, Nancy Meyer’s ('What Women Want,' 'Something’s Gotta Give,' 'The Holiday') promises to be a success. The new film takes the sensibilities – and ridiculous send ups - of 'The Hangover,' then applies old school, screwball comedy practices to an ill-fated divorced couple who find they still have a taste for each other. One complication, ex-husband, Jake played by Baldwin is newly married.
    Augmenting the scene is their family of three nearly adult kids, adding ‘practically family’ John Krasinski, older sister’s young hubbie, who gets clued in more than even he wants, in a breakthrough supporting performance that gets in the swing of the convoluted, delightful fun.
    Perhaps since none other than the all-time American comedy classic, 'Some Like it Hot,' we get a winner that not only will sustain the test of time but endure in representing the values of our worldly modern culture. To her advantage, writer-director Meyers gets to play with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and silver haired comedian Steve Martin in a comedy about “love, divorce and everything in between”.
    HINT: The in-between refers to creative scenes between satin sheets across the nation, from New York to the West Coast.
    We join Jane (Streep), a divorced mother of three grown kids, owner of a thriving Santa Barbara bakery restaurant, a decade into working out the un-working of her marriage to ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin, playing him as an implacable and impetuous little boy, though a very successful one). Things are amicable but – well, complicated. Things get going on an out-of-town trip to their son’s college graduation.
    Most would wonder why anyone remarried to Agness (TV actress Lake Bell), would reconsider. But then, there’s the real-life story of Tiger Woods’ choice at home, available as current exhibit A, isn’t there? And clincher exhibit B, Baldwin’s Jane is none other than Le Streep. Case closed.
    Nothing more sexy than looks, brains, and the best actress of all time. At its best Hollywood is seductive. This is Hollywood perhaps at its most seductive – in a broad scale, throw out the good book, kind of way.
    Like his character, Martin the actor seems caught in the middle of the sparks between Baldwin and Streep. An architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen, he is attracted to his client. He really 'gets' her, potentially the best fit for Jane. It’s a thankless part but Martin brings his best with key moments of hilarity – some with Streep will send you off your seat. Healing from his own divorce, Adam starts to fall for Jane. Their first formal date is a hoot, even before Baldwin’s Jake appears on the ledge outside the window. Later all three combine at a family function to turn the screws a little tighter, and tickling the funny bone further – with Martin wearing an unbelievably large ear-to-ear smile, fitting for a substance aided scenario. Surprisingly, Martin’s character is the most believable but when held up to the larger-than-life combo of exes, real life can’t hold, can it? What happens next? I won’t tell, but that viewers in the mood won’t be disappointed.

  2. My friend found it a bit 'white' ... Really, less than 5% live as these folks do.
    All that said, it was funny! My 22 y.o. daughter saw it with her grandmother in L.A & reported both found it laughter - wanted to take her mom (me!) to see it again.