Friends with Kids

First Hit:  At times meaningful and insightful while at other times, crass, long, and uninteresting.

There are moments in the film where tears flowed, other times where I cringed with disgust, and other times I was waiting for the next scene.

Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) is best friends with Jason (Adam Scott). They live in the same building and have known each other since college when they dated briefly. Both in their late 20’s they have relied on each other for everything but mostly for their deep friendship and funny interesting conversations.

They have other college friends (couples) who have married and have children. When they see their friend’s lives, they cringe with sadness. Ben and Missy (played by Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig respectively), are filled with desire for wild sex with each other and they do so in anyplace they can find. But when a baby comes it all changes.

Scenes with them as they begin to ignore and ridicule each other are very sad and directly reflective of what happens to a couple when they substitute living with alcohol. The other couple Leslie and Alex (Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd respectively) have a child, have gotten out of shape, and their house is a chaotic mess.

There forms of communication are yelling, ignoring, and nagging at each other but you have a sense there is something there, a staying power in their relationship. Julie and Jason want to have a child and decide that they will have a child together, not be married and have their vaunted sex and social life outside of their equally split job of raising their child.

At first it is very idyllic and it works. After they get a great start in raising their baby, they each find other romantic partners. The film then becomes less of a comedy and more about digging deeper into what love really is. This movie has great lines and overly crass lines.

A point of context is; at the defining moment of Jason and Julie’s relationship (at the very end of the movie) he wants to prove something and the way the script is written it felt crass and not about love.

Westfeldt, didn’t do it for me as the female character. There seemed to be something missing from her being fully the character and maybe it was because she wrote the script and also attempted to direct herself. As script writer I thought much of the swearing was more than needed - it didn’t make the movie more hip. However, some of the dinner scenes had great dialogue. As a director, there were times the film was very lost - looking for a path and other times it was on target. Again, the dinner scenes with all the couples in attendance were the best things she shot. Scott was much better in his role and seemed fully engaged in his part. His shallowness was perfect as well as the depth-ness he expressed as he realized what was important to him. He carried these feelings with equal clarity. Hamm was best as the sarcastic drunk while Wiig was very good as the woman who found herself in a hopeless relationship and was deciding to drown herself in wine. Rudolph was intense and occasionally wise and really displayed the kind of irritation one can get when their overwhelmed with parenthood. O’Dowd was good as the husband who was taking things in stride and also giving up on having a life he once knew.

Overall: An OK film, something to watch on video when you want some entertainment.