Top of Your Queue: A Movie Review

I am catching up on the chick movies in my dvd queue and finally got to my disc of It's Complicated. Most anything that Nancy Meyer's touches turns to cinematic gold (Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, The Parent Trap--- a.k.a. before Lohan went cracko, Father of the Bride); and, I knew from the initial credits that I would find equal satisfaction in her latest flick with Meryl, Alec, and Steve (I like to think of them as my friends, so I refer to them in the first person).

As the film opens, tight shots of Santa Barbara's Spanish-style architectural details fill the screen. For me, Meyer's attention to visual details like setting and wardrobe are equally as enchanting as the stories she weaves together.

While the film presents a real adult love story that ultimately does become quite complicated, I was again and again taken by the aesthetic delights that encompassed every scene.

Meryl's character Jane, for instance, a Parisian-trained baker, has her own veggie garden and a lovely kitchen for whipping up chocolate cake. Her job takes her to a quaint restaurant simply called "The Bakery," where she and Steve Martin roll out pain au chocolat at the conclusion of their date.

Though at times the plot grew cliché, I know I will return to this film often as design inspiration. Meyer's visual acuity always enhances whatever stories she tells. Whether Diane Keaton's predominantly black and white Hampton's house in Something's Gotta Give or Kate Winslet's English country cottage in The Holiday, Meyer's movies offer the spaces of my design dreams and wonderfully real characters to fill them.


  1. Even the clothing in this scene is a studied decision. No element is left to chance.

    Not that Steve and Meryl are mere props but both in black, they too are a design element --an engaged parenthesis as they gaze at each other, both leaning in a bit.

    Notice the diamond formed by knees almost touching and arms bent at the elbow. People attracted to each other mirror each other's body language.

    These interesting angles would not have been as apparent had let's say Meryl been dressed in white. So the color of the clothing (minimalist black shirt and slacks for both) was a judicious choice in composing/framing this scene.

    There's an architectural element in the composition of this scene. By chance, Steve Martin's profession in this film -- architect.

  2. I love this movie too.
    The beautiful home & lovely clothes...all food for thought and so inspiring.

    I watched this movie recently & found myself running to the shops and buying myself lovely new crisp shirts & thinking about growing my own herb garden.

    I love looking at her open kitchen, beautiful plates and flowers here and there... and 'The Bakery' is heaven.

    Watch 'Because I Said So' with Diane Keaton & Mandy Moore. Cute flick and has the same kind of affect. Maybe not as delightful but still lovely to look at.

    I have also attempted to start my own blog (Joie De Vivre♥) and have found that we have quite a few similar interests. Have a look if you like.


  3. Interesting how women watch films. Are we more interested in the design element of films than men are?

    In identifying with the heroine are we imagining ourselves actually in her shoes and living in her home?

    Might not the object of desire for many of us in Something's Gotta Give be Diane Keaton's home in the Hamptons?


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