Update: Steve Martin isn’t playing Meryl Streep ‘s ex-husband in Nancy Meyers‘ new film — he’s the new suitor. Alec Baldwin plays her ex, which is the larger dominant role. Martin’s role is essentially an extended cameo.
Original Post: During a round-table Doubt interview Meryl Streep confirmed that she’s starring in Nancy Meyers‘ upcoming movie with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, and provided Collider‘s Steve Weintraub (among others) with a synopsis:
“It’s a kind of a…it’s a comedy, but it has a little basis in something very real and a dilemma that people meet at a certain age. This is about a divorced couple. They have been divorced for ten years and they have three grown children in their 20s. The youngest is graduating from college. And he has moved on. He has gotten a young wife, and is embarking on his toddler marriage, new family and she hasn’t really had a boyfriend in a long time. And she just meets somebody interesting just before the graduation.”
Note: I worship Baldwin’s wit and bile, but when you play someone in a romantic situation you need to get on the treadmill and slim down and “young up” a bit — you can’t look like a middle-aged side of bloviating beef.
“She goes to the graduation,” Streep continues, “her ex-husband is there, they meet in the bar, they have a few drinks, they start dancing and he’s re-smitten. And it’s not clear if [this situation] is exacerbated by the presence of this other man in her life for the first time. And that’s what it’s about. And all the kids are very happy that everyone is together again, but it’s about ‘has the ship sailed at some point.’ When you have a big-shared history with somebody, but you have a big break, what do you retain from that? And is it possible to fall in love again. So, that’s what it’s about. It’s sweet. It’s cool.”
Trust me — the re-smitten thing on the part of ex-husband is at least partly a competitive, put-the-new-guy-in-his-place, show-him-who’s-boss type of thing. Anyone with a semblance of over-40 life experience knows that nostalgia sex is…well, some have gone there, but you can’t go home again and that’s that.