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Saturday, March 10, 2012

entertainme: "friends with kids" review

In 2001 writer / actor Jessica Westfeldt made a name for herself with her single girl and the city sleeper hit “Kissing Jessica Stein.” Westfeldt’s single girl / no kids is all grown up now in her newest film “Friends With Kids” which begs the question “Can you be happy and have a kid with a friend and skip all that romance stuff?”

In addition to writing “Friends With Kids” Westfeldt also stars as the lead character Julie with the brilliant Adam Scott (Jason) (“Parks and Recreation”) as her best friend / potential baby daddy. Westfeldt’s real-life long-term (since 1998) boyfriend, actor Jon Hamm (Ben) (“Mad Men”) also stars with Kristen Wiig (Missy) as a sex-all-the-time-until-they-have-a-kid couple. Rounding out their group of friends is Maya Rudolph (Leslie) and Chris O’Dowd (Alex) as the been-there-done-that-and-bought-the-overpriced-souvenir-married-with-kids-covered-in-jello couple.

While the movie trailer may make it seem like a comedy, "Friends With Kids" leans more towards a drama. Even with all the comedy power in this cast, don’t expect a “Bridesmaids” fun ride. This film is more serious and thought provoking. If your biological clock is ticking can you have a child with a close friend, bypassing all the messy, emotional stuff? Moviegoers have seen this scenario most recently in the comedies “The Switch” (2010, Jennifer Aniston) and “The Back-up Plan” (2010, Jennifer Lopez). While these two films tackle the beautiful single girls who decide to have a baby plot with funny punch lines, “Friends With Kids” isn’t afraid to explore the darker side of the “Let’s have a kid together as friends” option. What happens when things do get messy? (Ben and Missy) How do you keep the fun in a marriage after kids (Alex and Leslie) What happens when emotions come into play (Jason and Julie) Adam Scott is adorable and funny and witty as the best friend / baby daddy Jason and at times it’s frustrating watching their characters beat around the bush and date others when the audience clearly knows that Jason and Julie belong together, not as friends, not as parents but as a couple, messy emotions and all.

Who should see this film: Single girls who suddenly start to tilt their heads and smile as they look in the window of Pottery Barn Kids.

* As a side note I was at dinner with some girlfriends recently and a friend suggested that the reason women LOVE Adam Scott is that he reminds us of those oh so sweet guys we dated once after we graduated from college and who were  just  too nice and would someday make a great husband but we were too stupid at the time to know that this was the guy we should have kept dating and not the guy who made our dads cringe

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