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Movie Reviews
'It's Complicated'
(Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Lake Bell, John Krasinski, et al / R / 1 hrs 54 mins / Universal)

Overview: Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has—after a decade of divorce—an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). But when Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son’s college graduation, things start to get complicated.

Verdict: Nancy Meyers, director of 1990's What Women Want, appears to have taken that title as her mantra. Everything about her movies falls under the category of wish fulfillment, specifically pertaining to middle-aged women.

She does occasionally deliver up some clever lines, but It's Complicated is vacuous overall, although attractively packaged. Meyers' last films 2006's The Holiday and 2003's Something's Got to Give focus on thriving career women living in gorgeous homes, sans romance. This particular brand of rom-com has become Meyers' stock in trade.

Meryl Streep stars as Jane, a divorced fiftysomething with a successful Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant. She lives in a stunning Mediterranean-style house, has three loving grown children and a circle of caring friends.

Alec Baldwin plays ex-husband Jake, an attorney who zips around in a shiny black Porsche and is married to the much younger Agnes (Lake Bell). We learn that Jake left Jane a decade earlier, but his new union is faltering. Sure, Agnes looks like a supermodel, but she lacks the grace of the charming, wise and nurturing Jane.

As anyone who has seen the billboards or ads knows, the former spouses wind up together between the sheets. Jane is conflicted about their trysts and also is drawn to Adam (Steve Martin), a genial, divorced architect.

The film makes a few incisive observations about divorce and midlife sexuality, peppered with mildly dark humor. But it stops short of being revelatory and lacks clever banter. With sharp comic talents like Streep, Baldwin and Martin, you would expect something funnier, edgier and smarter. Streep acts flustered, Baldwin's dialogue are variations of "hubba hubba" and Martin is the quintessential nice guy.