Monday, September 8, 2014

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Friends With Kids" (2011)

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Movie"Friends With Kids"
Director: Jennifer Westfeldt
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

A group of friends in New York are living well, going out constantly and having fun, that is until a one of the couple's have kids. Now, their lives are their kids and they hardly see their friends anymore. The years pass and there are only two friends left in the group who are both single without kids. These two, Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) are best friends who both eventually want to have a kid, but aren't interested in a relationship. They get the bright idea to have a kid together while staying single and remaining only friends. 

This movie could have been very poignant and relevant to BigJ and I personally. Based on the title alone, we assumed that it was going to be about a couple who didn't want to have kids and how their world gets changed as all their friends have children around them.

Nope, that'd just be too damn easy.

If this film has one primary lesson, it's not having kids that sucks, it's having kids while in a marriage or in a relationship that sucks. Having kids would be easy if it wasn't for all the nagging that comes along with having a significant other. In fact, the arrangement of the main characters seemed to be working until one of them developed feelings for other. Then it devolves into a cliche and sappy romance with a predictable ending that we see coming within the first few minutes of the film. Just going off of the experiences we've had in life, this would never, ever work, and the entire film is based around a fantasy.

The film boasts a rather impressive comedy cast, with Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, as well as other talents like Chris O'Dowd and Jon Hamm. For a movie stacked with so much comedic talent, the funniest people are underutilized and the least funny people are allowed to take center stage. It should be noted that director Jennifer Westfeldt is also the main character Julie, so obviously she cast herself to be front and center. The primary purpose of the rest of the cast, beyond Westfeldt and Adam Scott (who we usually love), is to look miserable and bitch at each other all the time, showing the de-evolution of a relationship as soon as kids enter the mix.

The only real comedy in the film comes from the awkward attempts at having best friends Julie and Jason attempt to have sex. And that's stretching the word "comedy" rather thin. What comes out of a 107 minute run time is maybe two half-hearted chuckles and even less desire to have children more than we already didn't want to. As a woman, I feel offended when I see movies like this. This one in particular, not because of the cheap attempts at humor or the obviously skewed and crass story line, but because it could have been so much more than what it was. Directed by a woman, this movie could have been an unprecedented look at the "other side," a look at the women of the world who don't want to have children and why everyone feels it is their duty to tell them that their wants and desires are wrong. Biology can eff right off, do you hear me? Some women aren't meant to be mothers. Look at Oprah! She's one of the most, if the THE most successful women in the world and she has expressed a desire to not have kids. Will I be the next Oprah? Who knows, I sure hope so! We wish more celebrities who didn't want kids would come out and say so! In the meantime, get the hell off our back about having kids. We're doing just fine. Start living your life instead of scrutinizing ours.

Relationships aren't bad if you work at them. Relationships while you have kids aren't bad if you work at them. There has to be more to fall back on than just sex. As shown as an example of one of the couples in this film, their sexual attraction was all they had, so when they had kids and they let their looks go, they were done-for. In the end, if a bad relationship produces children, it will most likely get worse, not better. We're not psychologists, but it just seems like a doomed relationship will end eventually, kids or no kids. Is this really how Hollywood views relationships? It's so far up its own righteous ass with its views on marriage and kids it's not even funny anymore. It seems overwhelmingly that the majority of Hollywood thinks marriages produce loveless, miserable people, devoid of laughter and joy whether or not said people have kids. For what it's worth, we wished this movie would have been better, there was so much material at hand and so many different directions it could have gone, but it ended up being an offensive crapfest. The weirdest part was knowing that Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt are together in real life and have overtly expressed a disinterest in wanting kids. WHAT? How did they go from that to this movie? *ACTING!!!!11~~``* Plus, turtleface.

My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
One year ago, we were watching"You're Next"

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