Baldwin is now married to a young beauty (Adler), looking after his stepson, the delightfully precocious “Pedro” and planning trips to the fertility clinic to seal their love for each other with a child of their own.
Following a drunken night before her sons graduation, it definitely gets complicated. Stir into the mix the very available and terribly understanding architect Adam (Martin) and we have all the elements in place for a French farce but set in very prosperous Santa Barbara.
Of course if you are under 35 you may have stopped reading already but for those that have not, I can confirm that you are in for a treat with this Nancy Meyers directed film.
Delightful performances from all the cast notably Streep, Martin and Baldwin all playing 50 somethings already with lots of emotional baggage, but keen to add another couple of weekend bags to the haul.
As Jake admits in a touching moment with Streep in the bath, “I am a walking cliche”.
There are many great scenes and the humour is gentle but instantly recognizable to the target audience. Much is conveyed through looks and door closings as family gatherings are left one short and even simple pleasures like watching a movie together as a family, are treats to be treasured.
Of course there is no need to bring money worries into the picture, nobody seems to do much work, Streep lives in a fantastic house, has a thriving business and wants to extend her house even after the children have left home. Therapists are on hand to dispense advice and Jane enjoys a vegetable patch so meticulous and large it could feed an army for weeks.
All the children are sensible, educated and good looking rather than drunks or crack addicts. Everyone exists in a very pleasant hyper reality where it’s normal to stay in flash hotels and plan beautiful weddings. But no matter, this frees up the movie to explore through humour what it might be like the “second time around”, something that some divorced or separated couples might wonder just occasionally.
None of this delicate construct would work without top class leads supported by able actors, Rita Wilson leading the merry band of lady friends Jane confides in. Krasinsky playing the son in law Harley gets a special mention due to his amusing turn as keeper of the secrets. We needn’t worry about the principals, Baldwin and Streep can do this in their sleep but it is good to see Martin in another serious role where he very much holds his own.
A delightful, amusing and occasionally thoughtful movie, that provided you can accept the reality in which the family lives, will bring a smile to your face throughout most of the running time.
Funny, romantic, touching and hugely enjoyable, a must see for the over 40 crowd.