It’s Complicated (US, 2009)

Second time around the same guy

Maybe with the aging demographic Hollywood is starting to ‘get’ the fact that the cinema-going audience are not all 16-25 year olds and that sex does not stop when children are produced. Certainly kids make it harder but what about when they leave home…? Surely not! That’s disgusting! Well, that seemed to be the emotion of some young women in the cinema I saw this when the leads (tastefully) took off their clothes. However, I don’t think they’d picked the wrong film as their laughter was mostly with the film rather than at it. In addition the film has space to address how children feel when their mum and dad have divorced.

Old, female and sexy is not wholly new to Hollywood, Something’s Gotta Give (2003), visited similar territory and it helps if the leads are charismatic stars. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the film delivers emotional resonances for those of us whose marriages didn’t survive, as well as plenty of laughs. The casting of Steve Martin – only given one brief funny scene – works as the ‘nice’ guy but the movie belongs to Streep, still in terrific voice, and Baldwin, whose teenage vitality might not be realistic but he conveys the frustration of a man, who’s made bad choices, very well.

The children are fairly horrible, John Krasinski excepted, something the teens in the audience noticed, but that aside Nancy Meyer’s produced excellent entertainment; though it should have ended at the penultimate scene – but, hey, it’s Hollywood!

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