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It's Complicated Works

Published December 30, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
It's ComplicatedIt's Complicated
As a dramedy, It’s Complicated might work better as a dram than an edy, but it works. Meryl Streep’s portrayal of a divorced empty nest mother is really heartfelt. The idea that a double sink makes her feel bad is tragic. It’s not funny. Maybe it’s cute and flirty as she stands strong, but really that’s not what’s going on.

Review: It's Complicated


It’s Something’s Gotta Give for people who’ve been married, as opposed to a player and a recluse. In that realm, it probably should be more serious. It shows what a profound effect divorce has on an entire family, even years later, even with the potential of a reunion. It takes longer to include all of that, but I think it’s worth having in there.

The chemistry is palpable. This is what happens when you hire real pros with personality. They make it happen. The relationship is the story and the source of the humor.

The level of sophistication ranges from really smart relationship talk to really simple babbling and innuendo. It is the best stoner humor I’ve ever seen. I, of course, don’t like getting high, so this is my pretentious stoner humor.

The drunk girl talk is cute, even though it’s cribbed from urban legend and pop culture rumor. They do make the third leg of the triangle so pathetic it’s just sad.



I don’t have much to add. I noticed some continuity errors. A cup got set on the bar after it had just been set on the bar, and wine levels don’t match between shots where no one drank any.

I felt there was some fake action added to scenes, like changing a water jug. Don’t worry about staging action, just let them talk.

It’ll make you hungry. You see great food prepared throughout.

It’s Complicated isn’t the best or most even movie about the subject but it’s worth seeing. It’s the most grown-up movie of the season and it has people talk the way I wish they really would talk in real life.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Universal Pictures
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