Friends With Kids

Here is my underlying comment about this movie: I love Adam Scott.

And here is my underlying question: Why can’t Jennifer Westfeldt do more things?

Regarding the comment, Scott totally steals this movie, which is hard to do alongside Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, and Chris O’Dowd. He’s got such a nice-guy demeanor about him, though perhaps that comes from his roles on Party Down and Parks and Recreation, but he pulls off the Barney Stinson-esque vibe quite well in this movie, and with even more depth. (No disrespect to NPH; Stinson is legendary in his own comical right.)

I thought I was going to love this movie, and I totally did, albiet for completely different reasons than I was expecting. I heard about it awhile ago, and thought that Scott and Westfeldt would be the only people in their group of friends not to have a kid, but as it turns out, they make a go of it, too. I love the super-progressive and probably unrealistic notion of two friends having a kid together, because as idealistic as it sounds, it actually makes more sense than a lot of the situations that we see on the big screen and in real life. The message that kids ruin marriage is a hard pill to swallow for, like, everyone, but it’s often true. This movie takes that message and shoves it down our throats, except it’s totally fine going down because the characters (and the actors that play them) are undeniably lovable.

In fact, the only thing I didn’t like about this movie was how [spoiler alert] Jules (Westfeldt) and Jason (Scott) actually got together in the end. It was a little too Hollywood-y for me. And that last line, “Fuck the shit out of me!”? I know it was supposed to be charming, because Jules and Jason are best friends who understand each other and all that, but it sort of struck a weird chord with me. I would have found it far more interesting if Jason had stayed with Mary-Jane (Megan Fox, who I found myself liking a whole lot) and Jules had stayed with Kurt (Edward Burns, yum). A true modern arrangement.

All that considered, I think Scott and Westfeldt had great, natural chemistry, and the other couples in the movie were paired off well, too. The four other supporting actors are all basically known for their comedic work (yes, even The Hamm), so to see them all playing something new and decidedly less funny was refreshing and impressive. Kristen Wiig, especially, had a thoughtful little turn as Hamm’s increasingly-depressed wife, and seeing him as an increasingly-misogynistic asshole was also something to watch.

Regarding the question I posed above, I’d really love to see Westfeldt act and write and direct more. (Sidebar: How is this woman 41? She’s in incredible shape. It’s ridiculous.) In general, I feel like she sort of undersells herself, being the lady of superstar Jon Hamm and all. But I really do appreciate her simple, straightforward voice in this movie–she told a story that a lot of people might not be comfortable telling, and she made it funny and sweet. When’s the next film with all of these fantastic people coming out, eh?

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