Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

It’s not all that ‘Complicated’

Picture a 50-something Alec Baldwin slinking around a bedroom post-romp, rubbing his portly, significantly hairy torso, muttering not so seductive words of love. The newest mid-season horror movie to hit the silver screen? Try again. Baldwin, along with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and John Krasinski, stars in 2009’s last romantic comedy, “It’s Complicated.”

Streep portrays the main character, Jane, who vows to start life over once her ex Jake (Baldwin) reveals he’s going to start a new family with his new wife, who happens to be about 20 years Jane’s junior. Streep, however, holds her own. With help from a band of friends, she shows the personality of the character easily early on, not leaving the viewers guessing about anything to do with her aspect of the storyline.

Jane’s been taking care of their three nearly-grown children almost alone. She’s made her life about everyone around her for so long that she simply wants to begin anew. Jane decides, then, to begin renovations on her home, and continues with her love life.

Enter Steve Martin. An actor known for great films, such as “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Father of the Bride” and “Bowfinger,” he fails to showcase his talent in Nancy Meyers’s “It’s Complicated.” His character Adam is extremely bland, to put it nicely, and viewers only see his real personality after he partakes in smoking weed with Streep’s uptight Jane. Adam, though a central element to the story, is unmemorable to the audience and, apparently, Jane, alike.

Things in Jane’s life, however, were looking up. That is, until her son’s college graduation, where one pinot noir too many leads to a drunken hookup with Jake. Trying to relive the glory days of their youth and their marriage, the two then begin planning clandestine meetings in various locales. Seems like Jane has a choice to make – Adam or Jake? This is where Alec Baldwin, a man known for playing the highly amusing Jack Donaghy on the hit show “30 Rock,” shows his comedic chops.

Though clearly a man going through some sort of mid-life crisis, Jake is somewhat well-intentioned; torn between his new wife and the mother of his children. Praise needs to be given to Meyers, who also wrote “It’s Complicated,” as she kept the situation extremely amusing. Baldwin is completely on-point with his comedic timing, and with a few swarthy looks, he keeps the audience amused throughout the majority of the film. If only Steve Martin could have taken a few tips from him.

As great as the two major stars were, John Krasinski steals the show. As Harley, the fiancé of Jane and Jake’s oldest daughter, this “The Office” star holds the audience in the palm of his hand. Where Jake can be a cad, Jane sometimes comes off as whiny or stiff, and viewers have already forgotten about Adam, Harley is lovable and hilarious. As the one who uncovers the tryst, Harley too has a central role in this kooky family. It would have been nice if Harley had some more scenes, not because the character was undeveloped, more so because he’s obviously a fan-favorite.

On a more technical note, the scenes were just right – not choppy, simple camera work, believable settings. Even the soundtrack and score were just right for “It’s Complicated,” giving it that generic romantic-comedy feel.

However, “It’s Complicated” is no generic movie. There is no 20-something leading lady trying to find love in a city, a plotline that’s been played out one too many times. Instead, a seasoned, classic actress shows a mature, normal woman that everyone knows, who’s just trying to do the best thing for her children, while coming to the realization that she needs to live her own life.

“It’s Complicated” is all about life choices and trying to keep some control over a life that’s already significantly underway. There’s a sharp contrast between old and new, and the thought that maybe, even in America’s evolving society, maybe the newest model isn’t always the best fit. Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski amazingly manage to get this across in just under two hours, a message everyone should take to heart.

On second thought, after seeing the older version, a la Jake’s “come hither” scene, maybe the newest model isn’t so bad? But that’s for Jane to decide.

Kate MacDonald can be reached at kaitlynm@student.umass.edu.

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