Movie Reviews: Sherlock Holmes -vs- It’s Complicated

Sherlock Holmes meet Robert Downey Jr., arguably the best male actor of our time.  It’s hard to not enjoy a movie where Downey gets to prance around solving crime, outwitting Scotland Yard, and sniffing, licking, and drinking for clues.  Jude Law’s not so bad either.  But of course, it’s Downey who steals the show.  The movie however, is long.  Too long.  Someone needed to take a firm edit to that thing and (despite how much I enjoy watching the facts come together) shave off  a good 30 minutes.  This is a movie not a book.  It would’ve been just as good of a mystery at 2 hours in length.

The stage of the film is superb, as are the costumes and the props.  Watching Holmes and Watson muck about in the dirty streets of London, I truly felt like we were right back in time with them.  Yelck.  Who ever thought I’d be glad for blacktop and sewage pipes?  Madonna’s ex-husband, I mean Guy Ritchie, reclaims his manhood with the film although once again, with Robert Downey as your star, what else does one expect?  I must say, Robert’s looking a bit craggy these days.  With deep grooves on either side of his mouth, under his eyes, and across his forehead, I was reminded of what a man who is 44 might look like without Botox and weekly facials.  A concept quite foreign for much of Hollywood.

Metacritic, my favorite movie website lowballed the film at 57 out of a hundred.  I would have to say I disagree and give it a good 78 points at least.

Meryl Streep.  Period.  What more do I need to say?  Where Downey hits home runs for the male species of actors, Streep does the same for the ladies.   She’s the best.  Add Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, and John Krasinski and we’ve got a winner.  It’s Complicated is funny, really funny, as in I laughed out loud the entire time.  I don’t think I laughed aloud once for Sherlock Holmes.  The premise is simple, the stage is nothing more than the backdrop of a beautiful and privileged Santa Barbara, but it is the script’s dialog and the acting thereof that makes this movie so likeable.  Let me begin by admitting that I was most certainly the youngest person in the theater.  If the film’s gross is low, it’s because most of its patrons are buying senior citizen tickets at $9 a piece versus $15.

Alec Baldwin plays Streep’s naughty ex-husband superbly, Steve Martin is good too as the love interest, but who really shines is the daughter’s boyfriend played by young, handsome, funnyman John Krasinski.  He was really great and added much to the tiny role with his fantastic comedic timing.  There are holes in the movie that didn’t get worked out and the ending is vague, but overall, it’s a feel good comedy that delivers.  Streep looks wonderful naked (wonderful as in real not bone-thin and over-plasticized) and Baldwin, well…he helps her look better by comparison.  He’s good like that.

Metacritic gave It’s Complicated the same score as Sherlock Holmes, 57, but I would contest that it’s much higher than that.  Out of a hundred, I’d give it an 80, two points higher than Sherlock if only because I’m still laughing about It’s Complicated and I doubt I’ll think about Holmes and Watson again.

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