It sure is complicated. This comedy love triangle comes from perhaps the best female-perspective comedy director in the business: Nancy Meyers. With an acclaimed CV of hits including The Holiday; What Women Want; and Something’s Gotta Give, to her name you know you’re in safe hands when you sit down to watch her latest Hollywood blockbuster offering. The cast list is nothing to be sneered at either as the Meyers name manages to snare the likes of Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin onto the film set. The results speak for themselves and it proves that if you want to make waves in a genre that is rarely taken too seriously by serious film buffs then the least you can do is call in the acting cavalry.
Jane (Streep) is an independent divorcée with a prosperous bakery business and three independent kids. She has a harmonious relationship with her ex-husband (Baldwin) so when their son graduates they have no problem with the other also attending the ceremony. However, far from just being civil to each other, they find themselves attracted to each other once again, as they share a cosy dinner. One thing inevitably leads to another and the couple end up back in a relationship. This would be ideal if it wasn’t for one small problem: Jack remarried in the ten years since the divorce and Jane now finds herself having an affair with her ex-husband. As if this wasn’t enough to contend with, another man also takes her fancy and this is Steve Martin’s cue to make his mark on the film, which he duly does. Commissioned to design a new kitchen for Jane, the two seem like a great match and it could be the start of something special – if it weren’t for the sordid affair.
This is a classic Meyers film that once again explores the nature of relationships and she excels at this quirky style of character analysis. There are sufficient twists and turns to keep the plot moving along nicely and the quality of the acting ensures that the film never resorts to cheesy clichés or run-of-the-mill situational comedy. Meyers seems to have an innate understanding of the female perspective and is keen to explore the psyche behind women’s decision making with regards to a variety of different relationship scenarios. Each film she makes comes from a fresh approach and angle and each seems to have something to say, no matter that it is wrapped up in a light-hearted, comedic context.