So, I was not planning on writing a post today, but after watching Friends With Kids last night, I decided I needed to review it.
Let me start out by saying this: the plot of Friends With Kids is not unpredictable ( I like those double negatives, get used to it), yet still managed to surprise me, which can be somewhat hard to do.
The movie centers around a group of 6 friends from college: Jason (Adam Scott), Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), Ben (Jon Hamm), Missy (Kristen Wiig), Leslie (Maya Rudolph), and Alex (Chris O’Dowd). Ben and Missy are a couple, as are Leslie and Alex, leaving Jason and Julie the only two of the group who have not found “their people.”
As the friends chug on through their thirties, everyone starts poppin out kids, and Jason and Julie seem to be the last ones standing. Starting to sound familiar? Everything comes to a head at Jason’s Birthday, when the two step through Alex and Leslie’s door and into the hell that is sleep deprived parents endlessly nagging each other. And the fun continues when Missy and and Ben arrive with their newborn, also fighting, though in a more passive aggressive sort of way.
After the birthday disaster, Jason and Julie discuss the pros and cons of having kids, debating whether it is the kid who ruins romantic relationship or if it is the whole “set up.” Jason pretty much sums up what Julie wants when he says, “So you want to be already divorced, with a kid, so you can meet the man of your dreams?” Confusing? YES
Of course, the obvious conclusion in this discussion is to have a kid with your best friend, split responsibility down the middle, so that they will each already have their kid, and can then be free to find, “their person.”
After a verrrrry awkward hook up between Jason and Julie (spoiler: porn and alcohol is involved to get in that baby-making mood), Julie pops a baby out, and the two embark on the experiment of raising their child as friends while they see other people.
While I originally rolled my eyes at the plot of this movie, I actually genuinely liked it. First of all, this movie gets brownie points for the cast! Kristen Wiig? Maya Rudolph? Jon Hamm? Secondly, this movie didn’t fall into that rom-com pit of a poppy, shiny, Hollywood-ized mess. This movie felt kind of warm and homey, partially because of the dynamic between the group of friends, and partly because of the dynamic between Jason and Julie. In their early days of baby-bliss, they act a little bit like a couple on a honeymoon, yet they do it so subtly that it comes off as believable, rather than corny, and the looks on their friends faces are priceless when they see these two together for the first time after the hospital.
Then Meghan Fox starts dating Jason, and everything goes to shit. Of course. I won’t spoil the ending, but there was a point when there was about 2 minutes left, and I was like, people you need to resolve this NOW! Because I was really rooting for this couple, and there was a good stretch of time when I was freaking out that they were NEVER GETTING TOGETHER.
As a 19-year-old, I admit that I know next to nothing about the toll kids can take on a romantic relationship from an adult point of view, BUT I have witnessed the strain between parents from the kids point of view, and this movie managed to explore this rocky, fragile balance in a relatable way, without being cheesy or overdone.
Overall, Friends With Kids = a movie worth seeing!