I’m a little bit embarrassed that I’m giving a romantic comedy the dignity of a social commentary blog post…
Let me start off by saying that I realize that this film is a piece of fiction. I realize that the characters are fictional and that their actions are not and have never been based in reality. However, the themes in this film represent something that is all too common in our culture.
If you haven’t seen it, the film is about a woman (Jane – Meryl Streep) who has an affair with her ex-husband (Jake -Alec Baldwin) who is re-married. The film also features Steve Martin (playing Adam, the man that Streep is interested in) and John Krasinski (Streep’s son-in-law to be). It’s a light-hearted romantic comedy that delivers on all of the fronts that you would like a romantic comedy to.
As a film, it’s successful. The acting is good. The writing is interesting. The film provided a really interesting narrative about the way that people handle divorce. However, I couldn’t help but be frustrated with the film’s moral implications.
I don’t want to come across as the type of guy that boycotts films because of “sinful” themes. Art is art. Sometimes it offends our sensibilities. If you think that The Golden Compass or Brokeback Mountain are evil movies, don’t go see them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but feel like It’s Complicated glorified today’s biggest challenge to our marriages: affairs.
My main problem with the film was that the affair was treated lightly and shrugged off because the couple used to be married. None of the characters received any serious condemnation from friends or family members. The story ignored the fact that Baldwin’s character had been remarried for 10 years and that he had a step son. We never saw the destruction that his adultery undoubtedly caused.
By the end of the film, he had ripped apart two marriages and never truly suffered the consequences.
The movie’s moral failures were summed up in a conversation between Jake and Jane in the last 5 minutes of the movie.
Jake said that he didn’t regret their affair.
Jane responded, “I just wish you hadn’t been married.”
Then he says, “If I hadn’t been married, this probably would have never happened.”