|It's Complicated (2009)|
|Blu-ray Romantic Comedy|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Tuesday, 27 April 2010|
The stars of the film have had tremendous careers, but the performances in this film are not of professional quality. Steve Martin is normally a riot, but he doesn't even cause the crack of one smile throughout the film. Alec Baldwin delivers the best performance, not straying far from his character on "30 Rock." Meryl Streep is ultimately forgettable. I'm sorry, but this film is not "memorably hilarious." More like "memorably forgettable."
When it comes to the plot, it is a "been there, done that." What is worse is that the filmmakers drag it out for two hours. Ouch. Two hours just to get to a ending that we predicting from about five minutes into the film. The love triangle has been beaten to death. Please no more. In addition, it seems like the filmmakers didn't know the characters well enough in that they didn't provide a solid third act. The characters lacked plausible motivation. The film is easy enough to believe until that third act when characters starting making illogical decisions and rationalizations. I can't give any examples as to not give away any potential surprises. However, pay special attention to the sequences devoted to the "kids" and the reaction to the news in the third act. Just note that these "kids" are 18 years of age or well beyond and that their reaction is immature and completing unnecessary after a span of 10 years. You'll understand what I mean when you see it.
Nancy Myers is normally keen on her characters, but not this time. Her past work gave me hope for this film. But it didn’t take long to be dashed. In short this film is about an ex-wife and ex-husband the rekindle a romance with an affair. Throw in the architect as the third point to the triangle and the rest of history. The only thing this film would have had going for it was the hilarity of the cast. Unfortunately, that ceases to exist. The two laughs that are in the film were in the trailer and thus not very funny by the time they arrive in the film.
Compared to the film's blundering plot, the video transfer is genius. The video transfer here rates this high in respect to the genre. You can't ask for much more with a romantic comedy. The image is covered with a fine layer of film grain that is never intrusive. Black levels and contrast are near perfect. Shadow delineation is terrific, with only a handful of shots losing some clarity. Details and textures remain strong throughout, with the exception of a few soft shots. It is nice to see a Universal transfer without edge enhancement. There is no other artifacting in the image and the print source appears to be in great shape with only a few opening and closing speckles. Colors are strong and stable. Fleshtones is the biggest weak point of the transfer. While they are stable as well, they are oversaturated. All in all, this is a great transfer, but still rather forgettable simply due to the lack of any majestic imagery.
Once again, the audio track is getting a high rating simply due to the fact that it clearly represents what the original audio intended, which is not very much. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track is front heavy. I'm sure that comes as no surprise as this is a romantic comedy after all. The surround channels come into play during a couple party sequences and with some bled music score. The dialogue is clean, clear and perfectly anchored to the center channel. Dynamics are rather consistent, with the exception of a burst or two. The LFE channel is absent throughout. There is not much to say about this audio track other than it is perfectly suitable for the genre.
The Blu-ray comes with but two bonus features. The first is an audio commentary with director Nancy Myers, DP John Toll, editor Josh Hutching and producer Suzanne Farwell. This is a highly informative commentary but a bit dull at times. The commentary is straightforward with a lot of narration at times. The other feature is a 20-minute featurette that is a standard making-of of the film. The disc is also BD-Live enabled and has socialBLU and pcoketBLU functionalities.
"It's Complicated" is really on for true fans of the genre, or dedicated fans of these actors. There is nothing original or interesting about this film. You may want to give it a rent, otherwise skip it.