Published Mar 08, 2012Continuing with her trajectory of writing talky, dysfunctional relationship dramedys about affluent, single, NYC girl liberal types (read, pretentious), Jennifer Westfeldt's latest pragmatic, yet formulaic, ode to the quirky '90s indie feature plays as an exceedingly bland and heteronormative variation on The Object of my Affection. Only here, the ersatz union of tradition adjacent parents ― Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) ― actually conceive their child together as a planned way to thwart the notion that romantic love is beneficial in the raising of spawn, seeing as they're "just friends."
This decision comes after they attend a dinner party with two pairs of married parents ― Ben and Missy (Jon Hamm and Kristin Wiig), and Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O'Dowd) ― that have turned from engaging social partners to irritable, self-involved assholes after breeding. Jason and Julie believe they can do better, which is fine until Jason starts dating bimbo actress Mary Jane (Megan Fox) and Julie starts gabbing about the impressive manhood of her new beau, Kurt (Edward Burns).
Since the entire movie runs on autopilot, noting the necessity of cultural reaffirmation for vested audience interest, the distinction is that of the writing and comedy. And while Westfeldt might have turned some heads a few years ago with her male-defeatist, lipstick lesbian-inspired quirky comedy, Kissing Jessica Stein, her shtick is rapidly becoming increasingly insular and repetitive.
Virtually every joke throughout Friends with Kids involves the limited elasticity of the vagina after having a baby, leading to discussions about doing kegel exercises, shitting during labour and the diminished intensity of penetrating a loose birth canal. In this midst of this are comments about Jason's preoccupation with large bosoms, along with a good old-fashioned baby poo joke, which is all just par for the course.
Since there's nothing particularly funny or original, all we're left to ponder, beyond the implied morality of nuclear family ethos, is how incredibly boring and affected the lives of affluent white urban artist types really are. (VVS)