I spent a good part of New Year’s evening with a
few also divorced friends watching it’s
Complicated. And, I want to thank Nancy Meyers for offering up a warm, believable
enough story that provided many laugh out loud moments that still bring a smile
to my face long after the credits have stopped rolling.
Oh Nancy Meyers gets it, or rather us. And, it makes me resent the
label, "chick flick". Why is it that when a movie gets at the heart of
feelings, especially men's, the movie is pigeonholed for women only?! What
are you men afraid of? Facing your own shortcomings, perhaps?
My friends and I envied the house and the
garden and the wonderful way Jane (Meryl Streep) had gotten her act together over10
years following a painful divorce. The premise that she could be “the other woman”
to the woman who was the mistress in the break up of her marriage was just
sadistic enough to be satisfying. So many minor plots premises like Jake (Alec
Baldwin as the ex-husband) trying to have a second family, making him 78 or so at the child's graducation (and neednig to rely on invitro to get it done) is so spot on, as is the reaction of Jake’s
grown children to the idea that their parents could in the same room and civil to maybe
getting back together are real themes for many 21st century
families. Knowing that Alec Baldwin has had a messy real life divorce made
the story richer and his behavior seem even more plausible because, while he's Alec Baldwin playing Jake, he's also been dragged through the horror of a divorce publicly, which gives his some street creds.
There was comfort in the fact that this couple’s grown children were relieved that their
parents were going to remain apart rather than feed a common childhood fantasy
that the exs were getting back together. Similarly, when the family gathered for lunch after the graduation, the kids all vocally mentioned how wonderful it was to have a meal with just the immediate family (no steps or dates or other peoples children). It was refreshing and honest to see this kind of moment presented as I suspect it is more real than most people recognized or realize.
And, to see a sensitive man, Adam
(Steve Martin), not want to get involved with someone who wasn’t fully available or
really ready was refreshing and comforting too. It is good to see a man play
the role of a hurt guy with feelings and a desire to protect
himself as he nurses his own rejection from a divorce gone bad by (his wife's) infidelity. He may not cut the part of a sexy man who may sweep Jane off her feet, but Steve Martin isn't the funny guy this time around, which works so well since we want his character to find the love he clearly deserves.
Thanks again for giving us a story that rings true, is
funny and offers up a winsome happy ending. Happy New Year to all, especially Nancy Meyers.