It's not complicated, just boring
We should have known from Daphne Merkin’s NY Times Sunday magazine cover story last week on Nancy Meyers and her new film IT’S COMPLICATED not to have high expectations: she never really came out and called it a winner. Still, we were so inspired by Meryl Streep’s recent exclamations about over-fifty sex scenes (“The whole idea that you have to look a certain way and be a certain age to earn love is ridiculous. We love what we love. It doesn’t matter what shape it is. It’s thrilling to see real people on screen”), we got hopeful. And how could we not root for a movie made by that rare species — the female director — that casts a beautiful, successful, funny, desirable middle-aged woman without plastic surgery (another rare species in Hollywood) as the protagonist? And so we found ourselves watching IT’S COMPLICATED over the long holiday weekend . . . only to be deeply disappointed.
According to Merkin, a marketing executive at Universal said “It’s a movie that reduces well to a 30-second TV spot.” And that’s true — the trailer is great. As a full-length movie? Not so much: There are caricatures instead of characters, cliches instead of clever dialogue, and domestic interiors so impossibly posh they put Martha Stewart and Pottery Barn to shame. The result is a soulless, self-indulgent, slapstick two hours that feels like four. Oh Meryl, first MAMMA MIA and now this! Kudos to Alec Baldwin for bravely going topless (and sorta pantless), but it didn’t make us care about his character any more. And let us not speak of Steve Cardboard Martin.
IT’S COMPLICATED is billed as a movie for women which, having now seen it, feels kind of like an insult to us.