Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Why might FRIENDS WITH KIDS be so hard to find? Because it’s geared to a minuscule subculture of moviegoers -- namely adults. Take any Adam Sandler comedy and this is the opposite of it. That alone should be enough to get you into the theater.
But on its own merit, FRIENDS WITH KIDS is worth seeing. It’s a smart ensemble romantic comedy about parenthood in upscale New York. Two best platonic friends decide to have a kid together trying to avoid the pitfalls their married friends have had once they became parents. WHEN HARRY KNOCKED UP SALLY.
Jennifer Westfeldt wrote, directed, and stars in it. Otherwise, she had nothing to do with the film. Oh wait – she also produced it. For my money, she was four-for-four. Most impressive to me was the screenplay. I found it so refreshing to follow characters who felt real, said funny things that actual human beings would say, and communicated without the benefit of pratfalls.
If you liked the cast of BRIDESMAIDS you’ll like this because it’s essentially the same group. Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, and Jon Hamm are all there. But be forewarned: no one defecates in the street in this movie. So attend at your own risk.
Full disclosure: I checked Rotten Tomatoes to see what the critics had to say and the reviews were essentially positive, but there were those who gave it thumbs down. So it’s either sharp, funny, and touching or cutesy, crass, and overfamiliar depending on who you believe.
One thing I notice is that when film critics dislike comedies they always accuse them of being “sitcommy.” That’s the withering blow – the film is a glorified sitcom. I sure wish they’d specify which sitcom however. How many romcoms have you seen lately that are better than SEINFELD or FRASIER? But if the critics like a movie they never compare it to a sitcom. I noticed that with 21 JUMP STREET even though it is adapted from a TV action-comedy.
FRIENDS WITH KIDS. See it at a theater if it’s still in release where you are. Or it’ll be the movie showing on your next flight. Then there’s always ON DEMAND, NETFLIX, premium cable. And I’m sure each network is developing a sitcom based on the premise. For all I know Jennifer Westfeldt is writing, directing, and starring in three of them.
By Ken Levine at 5:58 AM