In a time when all romantic comedies feature the same cookie-cutter sappy fairytale ending, there’s nothing more refreshing than one than comes around and breaks the mold. If you’re burned out the generic industry norm and don’t mind it with the R-rated flavor of vulgarity, then you’ll want to listen up.
Just like its principle characters, Friends with Kids goes against the grain. Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt (who also wrote and directed the picture) play Jason and Julie, two of the closest friends who watch all of their married friends’ lives somewhat ruined by having kids. Bickering and meanness has taken the place of romance and happiness. As Jason and Julie see this happen, they begin a dialog that spans several days, at the end of which they make a seemingly drastic decision. Both Jason and Julie wish to one day have children, but after noticing how much magic is lost in a relationship due to children, they’re worried about it affecting their own future relationships. To avoid this, Jason and Julie are going to have a kid together. If they share the parenting responsibilities 50/50, then the other 50 percent of their lives can be dedicated to carrying out full, happy and romance-filled relationships with other people.
Their friends (Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm and Chris O’Dowd – all from the cast of Bridesmaids) predict this terrible idea resulting in absolute disaster, but when baby Joe is born, Jason and Julie make it work exactly as planned. Their friendship is stronger than ever and they each have plenty of time to get out there and date. Of course, Julie becomes emotionally confused as she watched Jason treat her and their child so well. He is the father that she wants her son to have, but something is missing. When Jason meets MJ (Megan Fox), things really start getting messy. MJ is the game-changing type of girl that Jason wants to end up with, so it’s especially hard for Julie to see them together. The only way that she can get over these feelings is to get out there and find a perfect man of her own – which she does. Curt (Edward Burns) is a divorcee with children of his own. He’s charming, nice, romantic and good looking (so I’ve been told). But Jason’s feelings begin to flip flop when he sees his best friend, the mother of his child, being swept off her feet. He’s especially bothered by how great a dad Curt is and how fantastic he is with Joe. Conundrum!
How nice it is to get a romantic comedy grounded in reality. It also helps that there’s enough true to life male content that guys won’t feel like they’ve been coerced into watching some crappy rom-com. The strong comedy also adds to it, making it feel like you’re watching a comedy instead of a romance. If other R-rated romantic comedies (like What’s Your Number?) failed to deliver, don’t miss Friends with Kids.
Photo credit: Lionsgate