I bumped off Percy Jackson AGAIN to watch this movie.
For some reason, the thought of it being a Harry Potter clone bugged me.
I had doubts watching three old timers doing a love story but hell, I was very, very happy to be wrong.
The Story: Meryl Streep plays an adoring mother to three kids. Alec Baldwin plays her ex-husband who cheated on her and is now married to the younger woman he cheated with. Baldwin’s current marriage sucks so when the lonely Meryl character and the unhappy Alec character got hold of each other, they rekindle past memories and tried to live the past. The problem is now Meryl is the other woman and Baldwin having an affair with her doesn’t seem right. Plus, Steve Martin’s boy next door character is nice, smart, and waiting in the wings to catch an opening in Meryl Streep’s heart.
What I liked:
I always associated Meryl Streep with period movies and heavy dramas. I know she did Devil Wears Prada, but I never saw the flick. That’s why I had doubts watching this over Percy Jackson. Yes, I haven’t watched Percy Jackson even if by now, all the movie goers have gone to other movies to find amusement like... you know... a John Lloyd Cruz/ Bea Alonzo starrer (Google search Miss You Like Crazy). You know what; this Academy Award winner looks effective here. She looks natural with every emotion she packs. From telling her girls how she is acting slutty to how she acts as if she’s really, really dirty. I also think John Krasinski did an amazing job portraying the role of the son-in-law that the in-laws love. Sure, his role wasn’t at all meaty but by the way his facial expressions change during tumultuous situations is awesome (i.e. the hotel scene). Of course, for those that watch 30 Rock, you know how great Alec Baldwin is portraying a douche bag. The way he acts like a sex-crazed jock is funny as hell.
The story of the film is awesome. People of all ages can actually relate to this film. I like the laptop scene, the after sex moments, the party scene, and their amusing banters with each other. I like how the kids, despite in their grown up phases, wilt like a bunch of preschoolers when the “un-divorce” issues rose. I think we had enough of those moments where the kids all of a sudden become independent and try to do something about a certain fix. The end was a nice touch as it lets the viewers decide on which route Meryl Streep’s character would take in her personal affairs. Speaking of the end, when the conflicts became evident, I pleasantly surprised that I saw little heavy drama. That I liked.
What I hated:
I didn’t really hate the film but I’m a little bit iffy with Steve Martin playing the secondary boy-next-door character. Blame this on the Father of the Bride and the Cheaper by the Dozen movies. I know that he played similar, leading man-ish roles early in his career but his last movies were always family-oriented and kid-centered that I was hoping at times that Greg Kinnear, Billy Crystal, Gary Shandling, or Pierce Brosnan would take his role (I did like how Steve Martin portrayed a stoned character during the party scene). In terms of characters, I was missing Meryl’s circle of friends when she had the dilemma. I would have loved a15-second scene with only her silent while her “support group” were in their pajamas with the “concern look”. I hated Alec Baldwin’s current wife (played by Lake Bell) and her kid because they pretty much looked like “karma” for Baldwin’s womanizer character. They are pretty much the “nagging” young woman who is afraid they get one-upped by another woman. This hate though is good hate since the film managed to make the viewers really root for Streep's character.
The Verdict: The film was unsuccessfully fulfilling. The laughs weren’t forced and I like the chemistry of the characters. It’s refreshing to hear the audience laugh with a mere Meryl Streep smug or Alec Baldwin smirk. Just because there are zero hot characters in this movie (except for Lake Bell) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch this. In fact, you need to check this out if you want a good time! This is definitely a date movie!