It’s complicated, but worth it…


Finally got to see It’s Complicated and I loved it! The movie stars Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin as divorced parents of three adult kids who “reconnect” during an out of town trip. To complicate matters, Baldwin is currently married to his former mistress and Streep is being courted by her architect, played by Steve Martin.

I loved It’s Complicated because at 60 Streep is beautiful, because of her droopy eyelids not in spite of them (one of the funniest scenes in the movie.) I loved it because even in their late 50’s, adults do stupid things, are tempted to repeat the mistakes of the past and are still vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart. I loved it because there’s a little part of me that (I’m ashamed to admit) was happy that the new, much younger wife go a taste of her own medicine.

Women all over the country looked forward to the movie’s release because it was the first time in a long time we’ve seen men in their 50’s dating and being attracted to women their own age on the big screen.  But the movie’s about much more than that. It’s about relationships ending and us wondering whether they should have. And it’s about dealing with the fallout of divorce and the reality that adult children of divorce are affected by it, even years later.

It’s also about how we sometimes re-imagine past relationships, romanticizing them and their consequences and in doing so, miss out on something fabulous that’s waiting for us in the present. It can be easy, especially when you’re single or unhappy in your current relationship, to wonder about the “one that got away” and reminisce about the good times, completely forgetting whatever valid reasons you had to end the relationship in the first place. The opposite can also be true – settling for, and into, a relationship that makes you completely miserable for fear that this is as good as it gets.

Whether you’re in something and trying to get out or watching from the sidelines and trying to get in, you’ll take your mindset with you wherever you go. Whatever your current station in life, if you’re waiting on something or someone to make you happy – whether that’s waiting to be married or waiting to be single – you might find yourself waiting a lifetime. Remember the old saying “wherever you go, that’s where you are?” It’s trite but true. Changing your status in life, doesn’t change who you are at your core, only you can do that.   The fact is, it all can be very complicated – relationships, love, happiness –  if it were easy, finding it wouldn’t be our life’s work. But at the end of the day as complicated as it all is, it is worth it.

Anyone else see the movie? How did you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook fan page.

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Grace is a freelance writer and blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  • Sorry, I love Meryl Streep but a comedy with adultery as one of its central themes is not for me.

  • womenatforty

    I hear you, and that did bother me about the movie. I also know that they made the mistress-turned wife #2, a very unlikeable character so that it would be easier for us to “overlook” the infidelity. That said, I don't think the movie gave the impression that there were no negative consequences to adultery and cheating though. It would be interesting to hear others' thoughts on the movie's treatment of infidelity and adultery. Thanks for commenting!

  • Mkromd

    I loved, “It’s
    Complicated” I don’t care that it’s about a divorced woman who starts
    sleeping with her ex-husband and ends up falling for (and
    almost losing) a really great guy in the process. If you
    haven’t seen it, you should. It’s hilarious. Because honestly… while
    Sarah Jessica Parker may be the poster child for single girls having sex
    in the city, Meryl Streep is a champion for divorced, middle-aged women
    being horrified by it in the burbs.

    At any rate, I love romantic comedies, but I especially loved this
    one. Not only is it well done, but it answers the question that all of
    us want to know after ending any bad relationship, “Did we do the right
    thing? Were they a catch or not?” I think it’s normal to wonder, I just
    think it’s more important to remember what we say in Appalachia, “Simply
    because you can catch something doesn’t make it good. Loads of people
    catch Syphilis, that doesn’t mean you want it for life.”

    That said, I genuinely have *no* idea why Southwestern Pennsylvanians have a colloquialism about venereal disease.

    However… I do understand why we say, “You can never go home
    again.” Heraclitus said it thousands of years before us. He just said it
    more eloquently, “No man stands in the same river twice. The man is not
    the same, and neither is the water.” And who am I to argue with him…
    especially when he’s right. You get older. You get wiser. Hell, you get
    back fat, but you are not the same person – and neither is anyone else. And just like Meryl Streep, this year my best friend, TB, and I painfully discovered that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    You see, every winter, TB and I
    take an annual ski trip out West. We’re pretty hard-core skiers who have
    been lucky enough to do some of the best resorts in the world. And this
    year, we decided to head to Colorado again. Now, even
    though I went to college out West and spent more than one Spring Break
    at Keystone, I’d not skied that specific mountain for almost 20 years,
    and it was interesting to see how much both of us had changed. We’ve
    both gotten much bigger, we both make more money, and neither of us
    seems to attract college kids anymore. In other words… we’ve grown up.
    And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At thirty-eight, I no longer
    party like a rock star, smoke like a chimney, or swear like a sailor…
    which is good. Unfortunately, I also no longer ski like I’m in a Warren
    Miller movie or believe that bathing suits are optional. In fact, not
    only are they required, they’re required to have a skirt.

    Anyway… every year on these
    trips, we try something we’ve never done before, something to make us
    believe that we’re still young and fun: dogsled racing, ziplining,
    indoor sky diving, etc. And this year we tried snow biking, a sport
    which is only popular with people who don’t believe that skiing and
    snowboarding are lethal enough.
    So there we were, at the top of a mountain, signing waivers… when I
    heard myself say, “Self… how bad could it be?” And instead of saying,
    “Bad, really-really bad,” I heard Mae West instead, “When choosing
    between two evils, try the one you’ve never tried before.” So instead of
    skiing. We did it. We went snow biking, and we had a BLAST! That said, I
    will tell you, I stood at the top of a snow-covered mountain… on a
    bike that had skis for tires… a flag on the back for visability… and
    a bucket on the handlebars for my gear… and I thought to myself, “Oh
    sweet Jesus… I’m going to go to hell in the handbasket on the front of
    this damn thing. The irony.”

    But that’s not the point.

    The point is that Meryl Streep’s character heard Mae West, too, “Try
    the guy you’ve never tried before…” because relationships are like
    snow biking, and I don’t mean that your crotch hurts if you hit a bump. I
    mean that, if you only do what you know, you can miss out on a having a
    truly wonderful time.