However, as much as I adore Meryl Streep and many rom-coms, I am perplexed by the scene in which her character, Jane, and Alec Baldwin's character fight, kiss and make-up around a water-cooler in her kitchen. Do you know what I'm talking about? Jane has already graciously made a Pellegrino (more lifestyle-driven product placements) and orange juice for Jake. Then, in mid-conversation, Jane strides over to her strategically placed, office-sized Arrowhead water cooler and begins to fill up a glass. This is supposed to feel natural. Instead, I try to think of someone I know, of any socio-economic-bottled-water-loving attitude, who owns a water cooler like this. Still in mid-conversation with Jake, she realizes the water cooler is empty. She grabs a new one, from some secret lair of water coolers, and we watch as she removes the now-obsolete container and replaces it with the new one. Knowing firsthand that water coolers are tricky, I anxiously wonder if she will drop the container, and it will burst all over the floor. Throughout all of this, Jane and Jake partake in a light-hearted banter.
What is the meaning of this scene? What if Jane had poured herself a fizzy orange juice too, and they playfully argued in the garden or at the sweeping stone-topped kitchen island? For me, it would have been less distracting than the giant water cooler action in the corner.
Further, does this scene develop Jane's character? Do we now learn that Jane not only possesses the world's most beautiful kitchen (complete with glass cake stands and covers) but can also multitask at the water cooler?
Most important, what producer owed Arrowhead a favor so big it required a distractingly long and contrived domestic water cooler scene had to come from it?