Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friends with Kids

Today I saw Friends with Kids, starring Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott.

Finally, a film for single folks that's not trying to be Sex and the City or it's blatant opposite.

Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Scott) are best pals. The kind of friends who have known each other since college and get each other through the tough stuff—bad relationships and the general perils of being single. They even live in the same Manhattan apartment building, which makes things convenient.

Ben (Jon Hamm) and Missy (Kristen Wiig) are their close friends, and represent the couple we all love to hate: the ones who can't keep their hands off one another and show up late to things because they're probably having sex.

Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O'Dowd) are also good friends, and show a more traditional pair, being the first among their group to take the plunge into parenthood. Soon they're frazzled and frumpy just like so many couples we all know.

Instead of being frightened or repulsed by the thought of parenting, Julie and Jason want to be a part of it. In their thirties, realizing they're not getting any younger, they decide to have a child together—just as friends—and attempt the awkward action of having sex with each other. It's understandably tough at first, but they do figure things out and produce a beautiful baby boy.

Their friends and family are skeptical about how it will all work, but they soon prove them wrong. Their homes stay clean; their bodies look great; their friendship has never been stronger. Most importantly, their ability to work as a team makes them incredibly good parents.

Things only get weird when each finds another partner, and feels the need to confide in the other about the new relationship. There are undeniable feelings on both sides, but they don't go there because they feel it would ruin their harmonious situation.

But why shouldn't they go there?

Westfeldt, not only the star, but the director and writer, makes this question the essence of the film and writes it in such a way that we can't help but root for them... with caution.

The fact that their dearest friends aren't outwardly in their corner only makes them appear jealous, as if they wish they'd done the same thing: find a really great friend with whom to build a life. And if you've ever been in a relationship with someone you primarily found physically attractive but did not have a mental attraction to, or someone who you loved to be with, but didn't feel a strong physical attraction, you may envy those who have somehow found someone to satisfy both.

Regardless, this smart, funny movie will keep you engaged from beginning to end; reflecting on your own life and invested in the characters.

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