Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of Nancy Meyers. I usually want to like her films or really enjoy the premise (The Holiday), but I usually leave the theater disappointed. I left the theater wanting to see It's Complicated again, preferably immediately. What makes this film so much better than anything else Nancy Meyers has done? Fantastic actors and a script that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Meryl Streep has been divorced from Alex Baldwin for fourteen years. They have three grown children, who are all wonderful. On a side note, all three are believably Meryl Streep's children, which is wonderful look-a-like casting. Jon Krasinski is about to marry their oldest daughter, and he almost steals the entire movie. He's fantastic. Also fantastic, of course, are Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin (Streep's architect who is designing her dream addition).
In the midst of the humor (and almost every scene is laugh out loud funny), are wonderful characters. Obviously, the acting chops of everyone in the film make this possible. Meryl Streep's character has three best friends (including the delightful Rita Wilson). The three have little to no backstory or character development, but it works because the four of them are believable as long-time friends. They have a rapport as solid as the women from Sex and the City. Alec Baldwin is perfect as the ex-husband, who is married to the cliched younger woman who wants to have a baby.
Does Meyer break new ground with this film? Not really. She has written a lovely ensemble hit with plenty of humor and a span of genuine emotions. Truly, she is blessed by impeccable casting and acting. Even scenes you realize are familiar fare stand about as wonderful. The situations may not be fresh, but these actors make you think they are.
At the end of the film, I was entertained, satisfied and eager to see it again. The jokes will still be funny and the acting will still be wonderful.
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars) - universally recommended
Running Time: 120 minutes
Release date: It came out on Christmas Day, and it's still in theaters. You can also pre-order the dvd from Amazon.
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