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Friends With Kids - Written and Directed by Jennifer Westfeldt

Women and Hollywood By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood March 9, 2012 at 10:25AM

What's interesting about Friends with Kids is that Jennifer Westfeldt has the skills to make a film feel subversive and mainstream at the same time.  The story she tells (which she also produces and directs) is about best friends who want a kid even though they haven't found the partners they want to parent with.  They decide to parent with each other much to the chagrin of their friends who are going down the conventional road.  She asks questions through the different couples about whether the norm is normal, whether you need to find a soul mate to raise a child, what is a soul mate, and whether you stay together for the sake of the kids when you are miserable.  She also shows how hard it is to find a mate in NYC.
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Friends With Kids

What's interesting about Friends with Kids is that Jennifer Westfeldt has the skills to make a film feel subversive and mainstream at the same time.  The story she tells (which she also produces and directs) is about best friends who want a kid even though they haven't found the partners they want to parent with.  They decide to parent with each other much to the chagrin of their friends who are going down the conventional road.  She asks questions through the different couples about whether the norm is normal, whether you need to find a soul mate to raise a child, what is a soul mate, and whether you stay together for the sake of the kids when you are miserable.  She also shows how hard it is to find a mate in NYC.

And the great thing is that she makes it funny.  It's funny because she infuses the script with everyday normalcies that when said out loud are quite funny.  And she's got a dream cast.  You close one eye and you think it might be Bridesmaids because there is a lot of cast overlap and it's funnny, but it's not.  It's not a full on comedy.  To me this movie is reality which at many times becomes quite funny and absurd.  

What this movie made me notice is that somebody needs to give Maya Rudolph a lead in a film because she is just amazing.  I can't get enough of her onscreen.  I also love Chris O'Dowd who we met as the cop in Bridesmaids.  Jon Hamm can play a shit, but damn he is still a hot shit. (I'm getting excited for the return of Mad Men.)  But I did find it hard to watch Kristen Wiig in such a small part where she was sad the whole time after seeing her breakout in Bridesmaids.  I want to see her fly all the time. 

I also admit was bit late to the Adam Scott party but I love him on Parks and Recreation and he was just so great in his movie.  He is joe every guy, not a shit although acts like a shit at times and he is quite endearing.  You also know that he will be there through thick and thin.  I also do like Jennifer Westfeldt but I'm ready for her to let the neurotic idiosyncratic woman go.  In some respects I feel her writing and directing is stronger than her acting.  I like her screen writing voice.  I find it very refreshing, funny, feminine and real.  I like that it comes from a female perspective but treats everyone with respect. 

The film opens today.  Theatre info
 

This article is related to: Jennifer Westfeldt, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Megan Fox, Women Directors, Women Writers


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