A great screwball comedy

2010-03-01 00:00

A COMEDY aimed squarely at adults is a rare thing these days, but it’s something that director Nancy Meyer (Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) excels at — and in It’s Complicated the lead actors are exceptional.

Meryl Streep plays Jane Adler, a mother of three who divorced her husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin), 10 years ago after he had an affair with a younger woman, Agness (Lake Bell).

Thanks to therapy and time, Jane is able to maintain a friendly relationship with her ex, but things get complicated when the pair attend their son’s graduation in New York. Dinner and drinks lead to a passionate one-night stand and then to an affair, which the pair try and hide from their children, Jake’s wife, and Adam, an architect played by Steve Martin, whom Jane started dating when he worked on an extension for her house.

Martin brings a great deal of charm to the role of the reserved Adam, who is struggling to move on from a painful divorce of his own. It was good to see him playing a role which required subtlety rather than the usual manic humour he employs.

Baldwin, meanwhile, easily won over the audience playing Jake as a loveable rogue who even sportingly shows off his middle-age paunch at one point. And there’s a scene-stealing turn by John Krasinski (The Office) as Jane and Jake’s daughter’s fiancé, who accidentally finds out about their affair and then keeps stumbling upon them.

But it’s Streep who is the glue that holds this film together and it’s no surprise that she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

She is without a doubt one of the best actresses of her or any other generation, and in playing Jane, she shows how the character is both energised and repulsed by her affair.

Streep also shows she’s pretty good at physical comedy. The scene in which Jane and Adam smoke some pot and get completely stoned minutes before they’re due at a party for Jane’s son, had me in stitches.

It’s Complicated is a great screwball comedy, worth every cent of the ticket price — and, unsually for a rom-com, will keep you guessing till the end.

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