Review: Friends with Kids

April 7, 2012, 3:55 am
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Let's get this disclaimer out of the way: rom-coms and I are not the firmest of friends. I can't recall the last film of the genre that contained legitimate laughs - the things tend to be amongst the most painful sits in all of moviedom. 

But with the addition of "indie" to the mix, there was positively no chance that 'Friends with Kids' would be as wretched as the others. It simply must be a gem amongst the flotsam and jetsam. Sound the third-strike buzz from 'Family Feud' - it's equally as odious.

The first problem with the flick: the adults are indescribably annoying - more so than the kids. Manhattanites Jason (Adam Scott, a skinnier and even shorter Tom Cruise) and Julie (writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt, a poor man's Renee Zellweger) are both successful singles that suddenly have their social lives turned asunder after their social circle shifts to parenting mode. 

Left in the parental dust, Julie - biological clock ticking - whips up a plan to sleep with her best bud Jason in hopes of having her own whining babe - no strings attached. Think the Jen Aniston stinker 'The Switch' without the wildly embarrassing insemination party motif.

Surprise, surprise, soon after the newborn arrives, Julie starts to have actual "feelings" for Jason but he's more interested in getting down with Megan Fox, obviously. But just because it's "indie" doesn't keep Westfeldt from going down the exact same path as every other rom-com.*SPOILER ALERT* Jason comes to realize that Julie is indeed the love of his life and she and his offspring are his family.

Trapped in the flood of banality is the majority of the cast of 'Bridesmaids' - not a one of them maxing-out their comedic potential. Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd and Kristen Wiig are the "friends with kids" - Wiig's role nearly unnoticeable, playing the irascible wife of the surly Jon Hamm (Westfeldt's real-life hubby). 

All the adults are (predictably) miserable after having little ones lord over their lives but nowhere near as tortured as you'll be.

One of the fun, witty games Julie and Jason like to play in the film is to pick a horrific fate between two equally nasty options. To humor them, I'd rather have my head stuck in a vise than be forced to sit through another viewing.

Grade: D-

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It was many moons ago in a darkened theater that my love of cinema took root as I snuck in to see my first R-rated film, Blade Runner. The futuristic vision that Ridley Scott unleashed on the screen was simply soul-expanding — spiritual even. From that moment, my mission to have that kind of magic strike again began in earnest. My hope is to be able to shine a light on films that may just have that kind of effect on you — films that may be lesser known, but not lesser in impact. 
             
- Erick Weber

Final Cut Scoring System
99-95% Opening night
94-90% Opening weekend
89-86% In theaters
85-83% On Demand
82-80% Netflix/Redbox
79-75% If desperate
74-70% If dozing off
69-65% If intoxicated
64-60% If comatose
Below 60% If brain dead

Erick's reviews
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