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Dazzling It's Complicated 2009's best film
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Dazzling It's Complicated 2009's best film

by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

It's Complicated
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My dear one and I have been discussing how we hate the way most younger people these days seem to have no clue about real facts - those you read in a book, not Google, and those you gain from the experience of living longer than 20 years or so. Okay, we haven't exactly reached the curmudgeon stage (and probably never will, being us), but both of us are in our mid-50s, so we've learned a thing or two about living in this world. And never were we both so happy to be in a crowd of varying ages than last week's screening of the Nancy Meyers film, It's Complicated.

Watching the horny little dance of intrigue, passion plays, and other whimsies that Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin (who play a divorced wife and husband who decide to have an affair, now that the husband has married a younger woman completely out of his league - the winsome Lake Bell), I think we laughed harder than anyone in the theater, except for maybe a few other 40- and 50-somethings in the upper back rows behind us.

Streep and Baldwin have almost as good a chemistry together as Hepburn and Tracy, but much more casual and a lot sexier. With a constant devilish smile on her gorgeous face, Streep has never looked more beautiful, or brought more confidence to a role. I particularly liked the scene where she finally disrobes fully before Baldwin's rakish husband character, allowing him to see how "time has changed a few things." We only get to see her bare shoulders and lower legs and feet, but the effect is mesmerizing, even haunting. Who knew 60 could be that damned sexy?

The story that surrounds this little romp is a budding romance between Streep's character and a shy architect, who himself has been divorced only two years before he starts to help build Streep's character's dream kitchen (Steve Martin in a much better role than his Inspector Clouseau earlier this year).

There's also a graduation, an impending wedding, and a very funny scene where a secret liason between cheating spouse characters, played by Baldwin and Streep, is witnessed by witty son-in-law, Harley (Jake Krasinsky of The Office), who tries to keep it a secret from the children of these randy parents.

Funny, poignant and very, very personal on a true to life level, It's Complicated is exactly that, and so much more. Streep is luminous, and Baldwin is deliciously crude and overtly sexual as he tries to win back the true love of his life, only to find out that once you've signed those papers, there's no going back. But the best surprise in this wonderful romantic comedy is Steve Martin, who proves once again that he can be both funny and serious and create a character with depth, one you want to hug when he looks like he's ready to crumble after a computer chat with Streep is interrupted - with hilarious results - by horn-dog Baldwin. A genuine jewel on my list, this is the year's best film. In a fair world, someone - at the very least Baldwin - deserves an Oscar, as does absolutely amazing Streep. Go see it with someone older and prepare to be dazzled into silent admiration for "the older generation."

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