Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friends with Kids

In Friends with Kids, Jennifer Westfeldt's adorably neurotic Jessica Stein-esque character is still single with loudly ticking biological clock. So, she and BFF Jason Fryman (Adam Scott) decide to forgo the unhappily ever after route taken by their friends (Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd and Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig) and have a kid together.

While what follows in pretty predictable in a Harry Met Sally had a baby kind of way, it still is an engaging little flick. While it doesn't quite live up to the charm of Kissing Jessica Stein, Westfeldt and Scott have great chemistry and are completely adorable together. Sure, it's got a lifestyle porn gloss to it, but as with KJS it perfectly dramatizes the fact that life and relationships can be messy and that the unconventional these days is becoming the norm.

As a post on Gawker points out, the supporting cast is fairly peripheral to the movie--so if you were expecting Rudolph and Wiig to delight you with their SNL comic chops, you're bound to be disappointed. Well, not so much disappointed--the tangled relationship between Westfeldt's Julie Keller and Scott's Jason Fryman provides enough interest. The characters are not altogether three-dimensional: Jason is superficial serial monogamist and Jules has an obsession with pondering various death scenarios--but that's about the limit of the depth of portraits. Still, Westfeldt and Scott manage to draw you in with their performances.

Even with its flaws, I enjoyed the film much more than many I've seen lately. It brought me to tears at points (and I forgot tissues AGAIN!) and left me satisfied with the resolution--even though it was pretty much a given (see ending of "Harry Met Sally"). If you liked Kissing Jessica Stein, you'll enjoy Friends with Kids. And if you have seen KJS, rent it!

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