|L-R: Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt in 'Friends with Kids'|
There are not many movies that I have seen twice in
the same day because I was intrigued by the basic plot. Watching ‘Friends with
Kids’ I was confronted with this very feeling. Marriage, love, relationships
and children are a kind of eventuality that almost every one deals with and
while cinema does often sell dreams about romance, there is almost never
anything new to challenge the mind about how to approach live beyond what is
present. And this is precisely where this movie scores.
Written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, the movie
starts out almost explosively with the conversation between Julie (Westfeldt)
and her best friend Jason (Adam Scott) after they are shocked by the
transformation of their friends after having kids. Is this what the future
holds?, they ask themselves. And rightly so. Does every marriage have to end in
this drudgery where screaming at each other replaces romance. Why would anyone
want to go through that?
The movie has 6 secondary characters other than
Julie and Jason. These include two couples, Missy (Kristen Wiig) and Ben (Jon
Hamm) and Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O'Dowd). Mary Jane (Megan Fox)
and Kurt (Edward Burns) act as the romantic interests of Jason and Julie
respectively. In the movie, each of the characters paired together provide a
take on different kinds of relationships that people are seen in. And while in
the end, the answers to a long lasting relationship is the same as has been for
thousands of years (but not repeated in many movies), it is interesting watch
this social experiment that the characters in the movie embark upon.
The heart and soul of the movie is Westfeldt who has
written, directed and acted in the film. Earlier seen in ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’,
also written by her, she again takes a simple relationship and turns it around
into an interesting watch. She is ably supported by Scott as her best friend.
The banter between the two and the chemistry they share is one of the high
points of the story. The movie is a mix of the cast of ‘Kissing Jessica Stein’
and last year’s hit ‘Bridesmaids’. But the supporting characters don’t really
get much to do but provide sketches of different relationships. Rudolph and
Chris O’Dowd do have some moments as a married couple going through a tough
time with their kids but the movie never steers away from the main two protagonists.
There are a lot of movies that have a very interesting
premise but which is only taken to mediocrity when played out. It does sustain
the audience’s attention but because they have invested in the first 15 minutes
of the movie. ‘Friends with Kids’ also relies very heavily on the premise but
the scenes between the various characters are still kept very fresh and chatty
for you to not lose interest. You don’t even care for the end when it comes to
this movie because you already know the end. It is the rest that you want to
watch. I would have killed for a different end though. It would have made this
movie into a delicious trifle instead of the chocolate cake that it is right
now. But as I said it is still a chocolate cake, worth a bite.
Labels: Check it out, CRITIC'S PICKS, English, Romantic Comedy