Movie Review: Friends With Kids

Posted: March 11, 2012 in movie reviews, movies
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This movie has something for everything. It was sarcastically fun, brutally honest, and romantically sweet with nice eye candy (Edward Burns, Adam Scott). And if that’s too girly for you, it also had Megan Fox in skimpy clothes.

Friends With Kids

Starring: Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Ruldoph, Chris Dowd, Megan Fox, and Edward Burns

Premise: Two best friends, whose other friends are having kids, decide to make a baby together, only without the hassle of marriage or a relationship. Friends With Kids explores Julie and Jason’s friendship as they try to make their weird little family work, while on their own searches for “the one.”

My Review: This movie was not at all what I thought it was going to be. And I mean that as a good thing. It had a lot more depth and sensitivity than what I was expecting. When you put the names John Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, and Maya Ruldoph together you expect raunchy comedy ala Bridesmaids (I mean it was half the cast), but it wasn’t. It had some genuinely serious and real moments.

Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) spend the first 15 minutes of the movie trying to convince us, and themselves that they are merely platonic best friends that have no physical attraction to each other. But from the get go it’s unbelievable. No one believes these two don’t have feelings for each other, not even their friends. Jason is a play boy who will pretty much date anything with a pulse…well, and big books. Julie is neurotic and self-conscious but they out the best in each other and are brutally honest with one another that is rare in even the best of the couples.

They both want kids. They believe they can make it work, while searching for their “person” at the same time, instead of finding their “person” first and having a kid that will change it all. Everyone knows and sees the flaws in their plan but on one tries really hard to stop it. It’s as if they are curious themselves to see how it will play out.

This was actually the perfect romantic comedy. It had its serious moments, its sweet moments, and it had a main couple you wanted to root for. It was so obvious to the whole world except for Jason and Julie that they belonged together, yet at the same time it was natural, it wasn’t forced. We wanted them to get together because they were the right fit, not because that’s how the story was supposed to go.

Jon Hamm and Kristen Wigg also got to show off their more serious chops, which was a nice change of pace from their usual fare. (Okay, I know Jon Hamm is in Mad Men, but I don’t watch that show, so I only know him for his more goofy rolls.) The real stars of the movie were Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt. Westfeldt just brought so much heart to her character and when she got heartbroken she reacted in real ways, instead of those fake Hollywood ways that characters insist on being tortured with.

What’s even more impressive is that Westfeldt directed, wrote, and produced this movie as well, the latter with Jon Hamm, her longtime partner. I wonder if it felt weird for Hamm to work on a movie where his girlfriend made out with another man. Or rather, how you right a role for yourself when you know you’re going to be making out with another man?

Overall this was a sweet, sentimental, seriously lovely romantic comedy that even made me tear up a little. And when you feel that strongly for certain characters, you know they gotta be doing something right. It wasn’t overly cheesy, it wasn’t fake, and it wasn’t glamorous. It was tough. But it was worth sitting through and I’d do it again. And if you’re a guy who hates romantic comedies, well, Megan Fox is in it, so there’s that.


Rating: 4 ½ Stars/out of 5





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