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  September 2nd, 2012       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

This Sunday we cover “It’s Complicated”, the 2009 romantic comedy by Nancy Meyers. New DVD screencaptures have been added to the image library. The video archive has been re-organized with many new interviews and scenes from the film. Production notes and review after the cut. As always, please share your thoughts on “It’s Complicated” in the comments.

Production Notes

Over the past 30 years, Nancy Meyers has made several successful romantic comedies featuring adult characters forced to come face-to-face with truths they’ve long been avoiding. Throughout the years, the filmmaker has incorporated her own life experiences into her work. In “It’s Complicated”, she taps into the world of life after divorce. Meyers found enormous comedic possibilities exploring the territory of an exwife having an affair with her ex-husband. For inspiration, she looked to Paul Mazursky classics from the ‘70s – such as “An Unmarried Woman” – as example of films strongly identifiable with the period in which they were made. Meyers says: “I was drawn to the post-divorce world that exes find themselves in and how their relationship, in many ways, never really ends: the bumping into one another, figuring out how to still parent together, how to live in the same town together. I noticed how much the word ‘together’ still exists once you’re divorced”.

While writing the script, Nancy Meyers kept Meryl Streep in mind for the role of the 50-something Jane. “I pictured Meryl in this part and I pictured her doing things that I would never have the guts to do. Thinking of Meryl pushed me as I wrote. Jane is definitely braver than I am, and it was fun writing that bravery and the choices she would make and the chances she would allow herself to take. As she says in the film, she ‘experimented with a part of herself.’ I’d rather experiment with a character in a movie than actually make the choices she makes…but that’s why she was so fun and engaging a character for me to write. She was the first person I went to, and I was thrilled beyond words that she wanted to do it. Meryl doesn’t just know her lines, she sees the movie as a whole—as a filmmaker would.” When she read the script, Streep was moved by the fact that Meyers had “tapped into something deep about families who’ve encountered divorce…or anybody who has been abandoned by someone they love.” Streep understood Jane as a woman who “had reached a point where, after the disruptions of a life, is having a good time.” She says: “Her business is finally launched and successful, and she’s reconciled herself to the divorce that ended her marriage 10 years before. Jane’s embarking upon this big building project and interested in the architect of it. Things are looking great…until Jake re-enters her life.”

“It’s Complicated” would become yet another box-office hit for Meryl, proving that at the age of 60, she is able to open a film successfully by her name alone. In 2010, she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, losing to her own performance in “Julie & Julia”.

Frederik’s Review

“It’s Complicated” is a comedy for grown-ups that’s all clean and sophisticated, but winning because of it’s nicely drawn characters. Judging the film by its central character, this is a fantasy film for mature women – where life is good and kids are nice, the only topic to worry about is love. Jane owns a bakery – which looks like the easiest and friendliest job in the world – lives in a giant house and has female friends with which she can behave like teenage girls. It doesn’t feel like her life is troubled in any way, if it wasn’t for the decision if she should give her ex-husband a second chance or should go with the nice architect who’s engaged to build up her property (as if it wasn’t big enough already). But when the film starts to introduce the two men in her life, “It’s Complicated” shows great writing and goes deeper than the “perfect world” image it has in the beginning. Both Baldwin and Martin are bringing depth to their characters, which is a nice change because they actually give Jane different perspectives. It’s the film’s great goal that you don’t know what path the story takes until the end. Like every romantic comedies, it has it’s silly moments (the marihuana segement) and over-drawn supporting characters (John Krasinski as Meryl’s son-in-law), but for everybody who likes this kind of films, it’s woth its time. The trio of Streep, Baldwin and Martin make this a worthwile film to watch. And again, it proves – after “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Mamma Mia” and “Julie & Julia” – that Meryl is still able to finance and sell a film for older audiences.

14 Responses to “Movie of the Week: It’s Complicated”

I love this film. I dragged my cousins to see this film with me and they loved it too. It’s funny, sweet and charming. Meryl is just gorgeous and beautiful. Oh Meryl, every character you play is so real and human and Jane is no exception!

Sep 02, 12 at 8:41 pm

When I saw this movie, it was a delight to see how Nancy Meyers had with a divorced woman after, inmediately I saw it as a success

Sep 03, 12 at 3:16 am

It is one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen funny situations are happening,Meryl and Alec are off the charts without diminishing great Steve seen it over and over and still not get tired of laghing,but the end is not the waiting…is a perfect movie.

Sep 03, 12 at 4:07 am
pam h

I love this film as well. It addresses a real topic of divorced couples maybe wondering what it would be like to be back with their ex. I thought the film was so funny and also tender at times. The actors playing the kids were so natural and Meryl and Alec being with them, they really felt like a family. Steve Martin was not what I expected. I expected a lot more “gags” from him and instead found a very sensitive portrayal and funny at times of the potential new “fella” in her life. Meryl was outstanding as usual and her comedic timing just gets better and better. The whole script and Nancy Myers direction was wonderful. Last but not least, I wanted Alec and Meryl to get back together. Alas, I guess reality had to make the ending turn out the way it did.

Sep 03, 12 at 12:55 pm
Georgia Woodward

There is nothing like a Nancy Myers film. Having Meryl pair up with Nancy was magnificent!

Sep 03, 12 at 4:31 pm

Personally I think it´s a pitty that Jane and Jake couldn´t end uptogether because they had such amazing chemistry, they were like best friends, Jane could have work some changes in her life maybe, but anyway fiction is fiction and she really liked Adam, so they didn´t. That dissapointed a lot of people I know that for a fact, but the movie is Good, Very Recommendable

Sep 03, 12 at 4:54 pm

I totally agree with you Frederick in your review and I´m gonna thank you again for your great job in this site and yor depht, without you, I´ll be lost, I think the marihuana scenes were absolutely fabulous and the Stanhope stay,fantastic

Sep 03, 12 at 4:58 pm

The film is not pure comedy at all and that’s a very positive point. There are a lot of funny scenes of course. I LOVE the party scene. That scene alone was worth my money.
But there is also melanchony feelings about Jane and her love life and general family situation. The three kids out of the house, her ex being married again…
And then he comes back into her life by an “accident” (although it always takes two people to tango) and Jake is obviously enjoying it more than her. She gets used to the situation soon, but also realizes how “the other woman” feels in the end…
I liked the ending. I think it’s realistic. Not a happy ending, but an open one.
And I loved loved LOVED Steve Martin as Adam. So quiet and polite.
I’m not really a fan of Alec Baldwin, so I thought Jake was more arrogant and…. I can’t describe it… more in love with himself.
I don’t mind him at all, but in this case, I’m in team Adam. I don’t know…. they were so cute tzogether in the bakery scene.
And I had the feeling that Meryl as Jane acted very “free” in this movie, no demands, no forces to give an Oscar-worthy performance. That’s why it felt so good watching her. She had a lot of fun, you can see that.
A nice movie all in all I can watch over and over again.
Nancy Meyers also simply knows what she’s doing.

Sep 03, 12 at 7:49 pm

There was something very tender that I notice in the relationship Jake versus Pedro, you could notice that dispise how anoying Pedro could be, Jake loved him, The night Jake had a date with Jane and there was all set up, Jane had made Jake´s favorite food, lited some candles, was wearing new clothes and waiting, and Jake was waiting to get away from Agness which was supose to go to a big dinner but suddenly cancel off because she was ovulating, Jake took Pedro to bed and you could see in his face how he felt aboult the boy, and everything let to stood up Jane with her magnificent dinner, you could infer his priorities

Sep 04, 12 at 2:10 am

Such a lovely movie, so deep and so funny.
One of the things that touched me the most even though it’s really simple was when Jake told Jane to not answer the phone and she replied saying: “I have 3 kids I can’t not answer the phone!”
So perfect, so accurate, a great script.

Sep 05, 12 at 5:14 am

Nany Meyers aaaalways produces really sexy movies. And Meryl looks awesome and hot in it!!!

Sep 06, 12 at 7:02 pm

It’s one of my favorites movie with meryl. So fresh… I really love the short dancing part ;-) the light, the music, the way they shoot it (the cast said it was shoot very quicky so they couldn’t take too many takes)

Sep 10, 12 at 11:05 pm

I looooove this movie!

Sep 14, 12 at 5:26 pm

I love this movie sooooo much!!
It’s one of my very favorite Meryl experiences!!
The look….the feel… basking in warm light on a cold winter’s day!!
And the DVD with the Director’s voice over is super entertaining for anyone that tryely loves the art of film making.
The cast; Meryl, Steve, Alec……the kids……the friends……all perfection!!
The story…..the writing…..everything is fantastic!
And Meryl has never been more beautiful!!
Treat yourself to this film anytime for a real treat!

Sep 15, 12 at 8:20 pm


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