FRIENDS WITH KIDS (Jennifer Westfeldt, 2012)
You know how it's going to end, but you watch it anyway for the sake of the emotional journey. FRIENDS WITH KIDS is written, starred, and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt (her directorial debut) about two friends (Westfeldt and Adam Scott) who mutually decide to have a baby, without the marital responsibility and/or social expectations. The premise seem ridiculous, but as the film progresses the idea becomes clear with reason, and the results are often hilarious leading to a realization of some universal truth about family, love and relationships.
Also co-starring BRIDESMAIDS alumnus Maya Rudolph, Chris O' Dowd, Kristen Wiig, and Jon Hamm (Westfeldt's real-life partner), FRIENDS WITH KIDS stylishly brands humor about a very sensitive and serious subject (having a baby and actually raise it), and through mockeries and sarcasms the subject is actually put into the table for open discussion. However, by the film's third half the tone of the story becomes dead serious, and Westfeldt writes some hard-hitting lines, most especially Adam Scott's rebuttal during the dinner scene where their friend (played by Jon Hamm) strikes some crude remarks about their unusual arrangement to share custody of the baby and still see other people. The issue raised was filled with honesty. What happens when the kid grows up? Sure there's no problem because he's one year old now, but what happens after?
And FRIENDS WITH KIDS ought to be seen, if only for that brief moment where we see Kristen Wiig cry onscreen. That alone is priceless.
What started out as a bizarre arrangement turned out to be a test of friendship, and what's remarkable is that Westfeldt presented her story as truthful and grounded as possible, that married people and circle of friends will not remain married to each other and friends forever, and yet a portion of the shared experience remains- birthdays, weekend getaways, dinners- those are indelible moments.
More of these intelligently-written and executed comedies, please.