Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Meryl Steep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin
Although this is by no means the best film I sat through this year so far, (or even that day) this is not actually as bad as I had imagined. The trailer and the audience I watched it with were considerably more vomit-inducing than the film itself which, if taken as a text of some merit and not just a silly rom-com actually has a lot to say. I thought this about Meyers' last effort, Something's Gotta Give too, which also dealt with the trials of growing old alone. However, when placed side by side these films have an inexcusable amount in common. Both feature a bubbly, attractive older lady falling for a divilish older man with whom they should by no means be involved with. Both women are trying to find humanity in men who have proven themselves to be shallow cads. Originality aside, the story is simple and involving. Meryl Streep begins an illicit affair with her ex-husband (Baldwin) who is now remarried to a young woman in her twenties. However, Streep also finds herself falling for nice but nerdy Steve Martin. Y'see...it's complicated!
The performances are what makes this film special. Meryl Streep glows as the infinitely loveable if horribly misguided Jane and Alec Baldwin brings his familiar Jock Donaghy schtick with him from 30 Rock, playing her ex-husband Jake, a clueless idiot who only thinks with his pants and Steve Martin is spot-on as usual but is truly terrifying-looking as his eyes slowly seem to be disappearing into his brain due to some OTT botox work. Where the film lets the audience down is its dependence on comedy to mask some kind of disturbing and traumatic events. Dodgy comedy, at that. Also, Jane and Jake's now grown up children are as unlikeable a bunch of people that you'd ever find. They are selfish, spoiled and ridiculously touchy-feely with each other, not to mention way too sensitive about their parents divorce. If these things don't bother you, then maybe the over-indulgence in bad comedy might. It's hard to spot bad comedy when its being played by such gifted actors but if you look really closely you'll find that the script is made up of almost completely lame jokes!
That being said, this is a decent, good ol' fashioned Saturday night movie,with some laughs, an involving plot and plenty of movie stars. And watch out for a fantastically awkward John Krasinski, lighting up our screen as usual.
- Charlene Lydon 12/01/10