December 18, 2009

Streep and Baldwin Charm in 'It's Complicated'

Last night I went to an early screening of It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. I wasn't entirely sure I was going to enjoy the film, mostly because I surely don't fit into its key demographic, but I left the theater feeling happy, hopeful and hungry!

Basically, Meryl Streep can do no wrong. She has had a string of monster hits in The last few years, and It's Complicated will definitely join the rest on the list. Streep plays a character similar to her role in Mamma Mia; a lovely, charming, aging mother who you wish would adopt you. Her chemistry with ex-husband, played by Baldwin, is sensational and during the film you wonder how these two got divorced in the first place. The best thing about the pair? Their voices! I think Streep and Baldwin have two of the most pleasant-sounding voices out there (with Sigourney Weaver narrating Planet Earth a close runner-up.) I could listen to them talk to each other for days.

The thing that I enjoyed most (and maybe least?) about the film was its use of food. Do not go see It's Complicated on an empty stomach or you will rack up quite a hefty bill when you go out to eat afterward... At least I did. Streep's character is the owner of a coffee shop and the entire movie is filled with pastries, cakes, homemade feasts and lots of wine and other comfort foods. The meals in the film go a long way in showing the importance of food when it comes to family and friends. Some of the most moving parts of the story happen over a family lunch at a restaurant, a uneaten meal for two and a late-night baking session between Streep and Martin. Again, do not see this film without eating!

When it comes down to it the plot is very simple. A divorced couple begins to rekindle their love behind the backs of their children and significant others. Audiences will see a startlingly-real depecition of what divorce is like on a family years after it's happened. It's romantic and joyous and a little upsetting but mostly exciting. It's hearthwarming, real and very funny, especially if you are un-irked by an onslaught of sexual inuendos served up by the AARP set. The supporting cast, especially John Krasinski, is a perfect bonus to the acting of Streep, Baldwin and Steve Martin.

In short It's Complicated isn't complicated at all. It's just lovely. Go see it.