THERE’S COMPLICATED AND THEN THERE’S COMPLICATED: Reviews of It’s Complicated and Sherlock Holmes


In It’s Complicated, the author Nancy Meyers (who also directed) constantly uses the idea of French films as a metaphor for what is happening in her story. And she’s exactly right. The pitch line for this movie, a woman has an affair with her ex-husband who left her for a younger woman years earlier, is exactly the sort of thing the French, with their “oh, so adult” sense of relationships, would do. It would star someone like Catherine Deneuve as the wife and people like Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu as the ex-husband and the new boyfriend. It’s hard to say that the French would do it better; they have their hits and misses. But for me, It’s Complicated never does quite rise to its sophisticated occasion. Everyone works very hard, especially Meryl Streep as the wife who has become the other woman. She’s constantly laughing or flailing her arms or rolling her eyes; if a line isn’t working, then her body sure is. Alec Baldwin probably gives the best line readings of the leads, he seems so relaxed, though Steve Martin has some wonderful scenes being stoned. In the end, however, it’s John Krasinski as Streep’s future son in law who has the best double takes and gets the most laughs. It’s hard to say exactly why it doesn’t work as well as one would want. It has all the right ingredients. But perhaps the clever script isn’t quite clever enough and perhaps Meyers doesn’t quite have the right Gallic touch for the material. Perhaps Streep’s friends and her children are just a bit too much of a drag. Perhaps everybody’s just trying too hard. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. I don’t know. It’s complicated.
Sherlock Holmes may on the surface be about the famous Victorian detective, but the movie, or at least the best parts of it, are about a straight married couple (Holmes and Watson) going through a divorce made all the more difficult because one is marrying someone else and the two are still in love with each other. Gee, this sounds awfully like the movie It’s Complicated. It’s not, though I would have to say that in many ways calling the plot to Sherlock Holmes complicated might be a very apt description. This was the part of the movie that didn’t really work that much for me. The evil plan put forth by Mark Strong’s Lord Blackwood has something to do with destroying both houses of Parliament with the eventual idea of taking back the American colonies which have been weakened by the Civil War. His ultimate goal is world domination, but exactly how reclaiming the United States would help him do just that is somewhat unclear, and therefore just a tad on the camp side (sort of like Lex Luther wanting to cause an earthquake and have California slip back in the ocean so all his new property will be beach front—actually that makes a little more sense). It also depends not so much on cleverness on Blackwood’s part, but on such dull plot twists as his taking the easy way out and bribing some jail keepers. But no matter; Blackwood’s plan may be a tad confusing, but the love spats of Holmes and Watson (played wonderfully by Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law) are very clear indeed. Eddie Marsan (having a good couple of years) also works well as Inspector Lastrade, but Rachel McAdams doesn’t really strike the right cord as a femme fatale, though it is fun to see how shy and uncomfortable Holmes gets around women. It’s heavily directed by Guy Ritchie, which works part of the time, but at others, gets a bit in the way. The uneven script is by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg. It’s not a disaster, but not as good as it could have been.

Sherlock Holmes to be Gay in New Film


According to gay.com:
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Sherlock…Homos?
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Tongues are wagging at the news that Guy Ritchie’s upcoming Sherlock Holmes film will give the legendary detective (portrayed by white-hot Robert Downey Jr.) and his ever-faithful assistant, Dr. Watson (almost forgotten “It” boy Jude Law), a chance to finally express their attraction…to each other.
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The source of the wagging is none other than RDJ himself. (incidentally, this “news” comes days after rumors that producers demanded some major changes. …) According to News of the World, when asked about the relationship between the two sexy sleuths, he reportedly answered, “We’re two men who happen to be roommates, wrestle a lot and share a bed. It’s badass.” Law went on to add, “Guy wanted to make this about the relationship between Watson and Holmes. They’re both mean and complicated.” Mean? Complicated? Grrrr
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Those familiar with Ritchie’s macho, undernuanced and oversaturated style know better than to expect any hint of a “Brokeback” mystery here. But kudos to him for giving a go at some bloke-on-bloke action. And why not? Holmes was a borderline misogynist with but one vague heterosexual relationship. Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle rarely provided insight into the inspector’s emotional life, but when he did, it was in the context of Holmes’ feelings for Watson.
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Let’s just hope it’s not a total cock tease, with Holmes falling into one of his drug-induced stupors or “doing it for a case.” Yawn. Then again, we know both these guys can play gay, and I’d break out my pipe to watch these two strip off the manacles of Victorian finery and get “mean and complicated” with each other. Case closed.