Synopsis: A divorcee is caught between her ex-husband and an architect.
Release Date: December 25, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Comedy
We do not need morals. Forget about being the better person. Put aside what is right because it may be fun to do wrong. It does not matter if you hurt someone else when they did it to you first. These are all things this movie teaches us with its unrelenting basis of a plot: the complications of having an affair with your married ex-husband. As much as the film is funny, and quite simply hilarious in some scenes, you cannot get over the fact that Jake (Alec Baldwin) and Jane (Meryl Streep) are being callous and juvenile in their actions. They have little if any regard for the other people who are affected, like their children and Jakes current wife. Nor can you just disregard how Jake cheated on Jane ten years ago resulting in their divorce. He may admit it was a mistake but you never believe him. He is far too flippant in his actions and overly eager to engage in an affair, again. Watching the two of them banter and find themselves in funny situations cannot salvage the film. Underneath the comedy is continually the aching feeling that what you are watching has gone one step too far. All the while completely underusing the comedic genius of Steve Martin, the divorcee architect who is so incredibly sweet in his affection for Jane it is unfathomable why she would choose her cheating ex over him. If there is one thing this movie tells us with complete honesty and for our own good, in the grander scheme of life, it is ‘you should never get drunk with an ex’. Lesson learned.
Meryl Streep. In one name we have come to expect great things. As Jane Meryl is good, not great. She goes through the motions, works the eyes and the brows to deliver reactions like no one else, and is delightful when under the influence. Comedy does suit Meryl but the character of Jane does not do anything for her as an actress. Jane is far too one-dimensional to garner any praise or admiration. Then there is Alec Baldwin. While watching you may wish you had a dial you could turn up or down for use on the characters when they go over the top. If you did it would repeatedly be used on Alec’s character Jake. He is constantly throwing out lines that will have you laughing but he delivers them continually in such an over the top ostentatious manner you just wish he would take a valium and relax.
How is it that a secondary character with little to do with the story at large made the greatest impression during this movie? I am referring to John Krasinski as Harley, the soon to be son-in-law of Jane and Jake. Harley is incredibly funny and a total scene stealer. He is of course privy to the biggest secret of all, the affair between Jane and Jake, and it gives him ample opportunity for physical comedy and the delivering of some of the most hilarious lines in the entire film. Thank you Nancy Meyers for giving us Harley, he made the entire movie when others we expected to shine needed to be put out.
The predicaments the characters get themselves into are uproarious at times. The scene with the laptop computer and bare naked Jake…disgustingly hilarious. Jane and Adam (Steve Martin) under the influence at her son’s party delivers laughs aplenty. Among many other scenes with lines that dare you not to laugh, no matter how ridiculous or inappropriate they are at the time or place. This is where the movie shines no doubt – in the comedic circumstances and dialogue. Pair that with three actors (Streep, Baldwin, and Martin) who all know how to use a simple glance, movement, or look to carry the joke and you have a very funny movie.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Nancy Meyers
- Producer(s): Nancy MeyersJohn Krasinski (Harley)
- Screenwriter(s): Meryl Streep (Jane)Alec Baldwin (Jake)Steve Martin (Adam)
- Cast: John TollJon Hutman
- Cinematographer: Hans Zimmer
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s): Hammerhead Productions
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA