The It's Complicated Trailer: Yup, Something Gave
With all the talk of Judd Apatow evolving into the next James L. Brooks, it's easy to overlook the fact that the title might already belong to another writer/director making ambitious, bittersweet and talky ensemble comedies for grownups: Nancy Meyers. Like Apatow, she too finds her laughs in moments gone wrong -- botched seductions, broken marriages, portraits of aging ungracefully -- and like Apatow, she has two beautiful blonde daughters, Annie and Halley, whom she's cast in her films. But she can also write about and for women -- something Brooks could do, but Apatow can't. That's a big but.
Speaking of big butts, that's probably something Meryl Streep's Jane is contending with in the trailer for It's Complicated, as she compares her own to that of her ex-husband Alec Baldwin's much-younger wife (Lake Bell) -- the very girl he had cheated on her with, it just so happens. Meyers likes to sample different actors with each project, instead of picking repeated from the same repertory craft services table. After tinkering with the lives of a younger quartet in 2006's The Holiday, she's back to the comfort zones of Something's Gotta Give: a female screen giant (Streep instead of Diane Keaton) with an age-appropriate-ish love interest (Alec Baldwin instead of Jack Nicholson), and in the "other suitor" role, we get Steve Martin, not Keanu Reeves. Hey -- something hadta give.
Jane --"funny, divorced, compassionate, independent, businesswoman" flicker the keywords on the screen until it lands on "divorced" -- is grappling with life on her own. Mitigating that misfortune is the fact that Jane is rich as a motherfucker, if that house is any indication. (What Apatow is to women, Meyers is to people in middle-income tax brackets and below.) Luckily, best friend Rita Wilson and Alexandra Wentworth are there -- somewhere, under 150 throw-pillows -- for comfort and advice.
There's no reinvention of the wheel here -- the exes-get-back-together routine was even exploited in Meyers' own remake of The Parent Trap. But the key is in the fairy tale's telling, and Meyers has assembled a group of actors you want to hang out with -- right down to John Krasinski and Hunter Parrish, curled up on a couch eating popcorn for a family screening of What Women Want. Throw on some "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and Shirley Bassey, give us a fleeting glimpse of Baldwin's magnificent chest thicket, still glistening after having triumphantly induced post-coital paralysis in his costar, and, quite frankly, we're willing to completely overlook the fact that this movie shares a title with a Denise Richards reality show. Yes, Nanc. We're all in.
Verdict: Alec, you had us at "your hair is shorter."