Friends with Kids

Smart Actors Playing Shallow People

         
 

09 March 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Only the phony bourgeoisie will enjoy these clichéd and shallow characters. Friends with Kids takes place amongst the thirtysomething crowd in Manhattan. The movie itself is dumpsville, or in the land of shallow white people’s problems. Jennifer Westfeldt (who also wrote and directed) and Adam Scott play friends with benefits who self-consciously decide to have a baby out of wedlock. They have longtime friends played by four actors who were collected from “Bridesmaids,” last year’s much wittier comedy, including Maya Rudolph and Chris O’ Dowd as one couple, and Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig as the second couple. None of their characters ever talk about films or books, about travelling or religious beliefs, or anything that real educated people talk about. All their conversation exists in a perpetual duct of clichéd sex jokes.

Have you heard about the one where the woman hasn’t had sex in so long that her vagina now has cobwebs? That joke is in here, and so are other desperately unfunny ones about Westfeldt’s vagina. For most of you who haven’t ever caught Wesfeldt in a movie before, she was delightfully neurotic in “Kissing Jessica Stein” (2001) about a working girl who has practiced straight relationships all her life but decides to switch to lesbianism. But Westfeldt is gratingly neurotic in every moment here.

She decides that she can’t wait for Mr. Right, so Scott becomes her surrogate. Watching them talk about “doin’ it” is squirmingly unfunny. Then they have the kid, but with the consent that they can still fish for perspective parents’ while they take turns parenting. Edward Burns and Megan Fox play the eligible singles who date Mom and Pop. Over the course of the movie, the kid grows up just enough to be confused by his parent’s relationship.

“Friends with Kids” is so insipid that something cheesy like “New Year’s Eve” might be more invaluable as entertainment, if that’s possible. To a kinder remark, at least the movie is well-photographed.

117 Minutes. Rated PG-13.

ROMANTIC COMEDY / MINDLESS PLEASURES / WEEKEND CAMP

Film Cousins: “The Object of My Affection” (1998); “Friends with Money” (2006); “The Proposal” (2009); “The Switch” (2010).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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