Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - May, 2010

ARTICLE INDEX

"It's Complicated" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-may-2010-complicated

Synopsis

The story begins ten years after the divorce of Jane (Streep) and Jake (Baldwin) Adler.  Their relationship is amicable even though Jake has married the younger woman he was cheating with.  They meet up in New York City to attend their son’s graduation and the fireworks begin.  After too much to drink, Jane and Jake fall into bed and begin an affair.  Jake is obviously unhappy with his new wife and anxious to rekindle their love.  Jane is more resistant but she finds herself happier than ever.  To complicate matters, her architect Adam (Martin) is attracted to her and she begins to fall for him.  Things start to unravel when they try to keep the affair secret from their three college-aged children.  Eventually though, things come to a head and the Adlers must decide if they want to reconcile or go their separate ways.

 

Specifications

  • Universal Pictures
  • 2009, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 1 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring:  Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski
  • Directed by Nancy Meyers
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Implied
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I’m normally not a fan of romantic comedies but this one surprised me.  I attribute this to the fact that the characters are not silly twenty-somethings who spend two hours trying to out-dumb each other.  The Adlers and Adam the architect are just experienced people just trying to sort out their feelings and not hurt one another.  I really enjoyed the performances of the principle actors, especially John Krasinski as the future son-in-law.  I loved his talent for physical comedy and he had me laughing almost every time he was on the screen.  Meryl Streep and Steve Martin are superb actors and their skills were put to good use with an excellent, Neil Simon-like screenplay.  My favorite scene happens when Jane and Adam share a marijuana joint.  Their portrayal of two stoned fifty-somethings is simply hilarious.  Alec Baldwin was good too though not quite as strong as the others.  This relationship scenario seemed perfectly plausible to me.  Jane and Jake aren’t quite sure their relationship is finished and they can’t resist trying to see if the fire is still there.  Adam is more recently burned by divorce but doesn’t want to be alone.  He approaches dating cautiously.  This is one of the better romantic comedies I’ve seen recently; recommended.

Technical

Image quality was a strange mix of sharp, contrasty material with very pasty skin tones and poor facial detail.  Outdoor scenes looked superb with bright lighting, brilliant colors and a three-dimensional look.  The actors’ faces however looked very flat and smeared.  I got the distinct impression that an effort was made to hide their age.  There was almost no detail; lighting was flat and lifeless; and even the makeup seemed very heavy.  Flesh tones were also a bit ruddy though it could have been due to the makeup rather than an inaccurate transfer.  The effect of this was a dim representation of the characters on a brilliant and sharply detailed background.

Audio was very good and mixed appropriately for the subject matter.  Dialog was well-forward in the soundstage and clear at all times.  There wasn’t much for the sub or surrounds to do but there was no need for them.  Music was fun and light.  The score was kind of a fusion between Latin and elevator music.  I thought it a perfect backdrop for this film.  Composers Hans Zimmer and Heitor Pereira are to be commended.

Extras

Bonus features are limited to a making of documentary and an audio commentary track.  If you have a BD-Live connection, as I did, a couple of extra trailers will play before the movie.