(Universal Pictures) I am embarrassed to admit that I laughed through most of this film...like admitting that I used to like soap operas (this was in early days of great distress -- junk food for the overstressed mind). The film is contrived and unbelievable, but hey, I felt the way I did when I was a kid and went to a double feature-cum-cliff-hanger matinee with a baggie lunch (...friends, I am an old broad. This was back in 1935). I just sat back and enjoyed it.
So...a middle-aged Meryl Streep, successful, runs a great bakery, lives in a wonderful house, has three incredible children (meaning that they are not real since they look good, behave wonderfully, love their mommy and divorced daddy, and are incredibly cute and adorable). When the girls give mommy a super-hug, older guy says, "Oh gosh," and throws himself in for the lovey-lovey. I kept laughing and asking myself, "What the hell are you enjoying here?" Well, I loved Hellboy and his romantic attachment to the lady who ignites when she's pissed, so why not?
Streep is a classy lady who looks wonderful except for one tiny droop of the eyelid, and she goes to the plastic surgeon but then learns that they must lift the entire forehead, giving six months of headaches (entirely untrue). She's ten years divorced from the guy who married a very young, sexy, rather bitchy creature with a small, very misbehaving son. Wife now demands another child from this old-guy husband and makes him sit with a porn magazine in the fertility clinic to bring forth a sperm sample. Streep's kids claim that they've not yet recovered from the divorce -- oh come on. So she and her ex meet at a graduation, they get drunk, have a really hot affair. Evidently, she has something homey and satisfying that the young sexpot does not, and the exes become lovers.
What's interesting is Alec Baldwin's good-natured willingness to display his big bulky overweight body. Shades of the slender-er, handsome self of Beetlejuice, he joyfully lies naked on the bedsheets displaying his sexual self-confidence. He's just fun to watch.
So they begin to date. Streep is now "the other woman" and she's spotted by one of the young gang at their assignation hotel. To confound the simplicity of it all, an architect comes to plan an addition to her already gorgeous home. To demonstrate the nature of the film (to anybody who has ever built an addition), she two-second-glances over the complicated plans and "Ohhs" and "Ahhs," "Oh isn't this great" and "I love this" and "Just move this wall twenty feet." In the same way, the architect (Steve Martin playing not-funny) asks for a chocolate croissant, and she reaches into the flour jar and, in a nano-second, whips up and rolls out excellent pastry dough, slams on some chocolate, pops it in the oven and voila. Not even a messed counter.
It's so frothy and so artificial, but wasn't also Sex and the City? One gal leaves her husband for dallying once with another woman when she hasn't had time for sex in six months? What, it's his fault? And the final reconciliation scene takes place on a carpeted closet floor. Where else in a high couture movie?
But it's funny, so I admit I was shamelessly laughing. There is a seminal scene (I think I've chosen the right adjective) where a hot-and-ready-to-go Baldwin lies naked in bed, awaiting, while an open laptop is photographing his whatsit, and from the size of his bulky body, one would expect...but let me not give spoilers. Unfortunately, after that scene, the air sort of goes out of the balloon.
But what the hell? It's entertainment...and I was entertained by what I guess is a junk food movie. But oh the attraction of junk food. I remember Mt. Vernon Junior High cafeteria corned-beef hash full of suet and hyper-salted brown gravy (wish I had some of that goop right this minute!).
It's Complicated isn't. But honestly, I had a good laugh. Do me something.