Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Love Adam Scott (And I Really Like Friends with Kids too)

This was a review I originally wrote for my school newspaper. Not my finest work, but I thought you might like it anyways. I added annotations of all the little things I didn't get to say in print. 

Adam Scott is an amazing man[1]. I enjoyed him as Party Down’s protagonist Henry Pollack[2]. I really like him as Ben Wyatt, Leslie Knope’s perfect love interest on Parks and Recreation[3]. And, tonight, I fell in love with him in Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends With Kids[4].

In Kids, Scott leads an all-star ensemble which ranges from SNL veterans Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph to Mad Men’s jack of all trades Jon Hamm. Scott’s character, Jason, is a classic commitment phobic playboy. His best friend, Julie, played by writer, producer, and director Jennifer Westerfeldt, is a smart, competent, woman unlucky in love, heading into her thirties with her biological clock ticking louder and louder every year. After watching their fun, adventurous friends become over exhausted, angry parents they decide to skip over the complicated marriage and go right for baby. From that point forward, they are best friends without benefits, co-parents without co-living arrangements, and hilarious comedic partners without a missed beat.

Many will compare Friends With Kids with last year’s breakout hit Bridesmaids. Personally, I think that does a disservice to Kids, which is realer, funnier, and less dependent on abhorrent scatological humour. I must have laughed at least once a minute[5], but that’s not why I loved this film. What I really enjoyed about it was the well-developed relationships and the realistic moments they produced.

The film successfully contrasts romantic relationships in their various stages of development, from new love all the way to impending divorce. When Wigg and Hamm’s marriage comes to its breaking point, their disagreements feel justified. When Hamm’s character questions Jason and Julie’s parents-without-benefits situation, Jason’s defense feels right, and the ensuing argument feels exactly like every argument you’ve ever had with a friend who’s been there to witness you screw up all these years. Most of all, the slowing cooking romance between Jason and Julie manages to be both difficult and messy, but also exciting and insanely romantic.

In short, Friends With Kids is a pretty great movie. It’s realistic without being boring, funny without being meaningless, heartfelt without being heart wrenching. Jennifer Westerfeldt crafts a great film; Adam Scott is a great leading man. Friends With Kids is a great comedy, and a very sweet romance; it is, in short, one of the only movies that actually manages to live up to the title of the Romantic Comedy[6].  

[1] Look at pictures of him now. Please. You’re welcome.
[2] I have since found out his name is actually Henry Pollard. Oops. Hey, I think it’s pretty impressive that I remembered his last name at name all, considering I saw the show once a very long time ago and didn’t even love it that much.
[3] See: Road Trip, World’s Smallest Park, The Trial of Leslie Knope
[4] Upon reflection, I probably shouldn’t have started the review this way, since most people don’t even know who Adam Scott is. Also, I think I broader, less fan girl opening might have been more appropriate.
[5] Big exaggeration. But saying I laughed once every three minutes doesn’t sound as good. I claim poetic license on this one.
[6] So, that’s all I could fit into the 400 word review. For your special, online content, here’s the full list of awesomeness:

1)   Megan Fox was actually a fairly not terrible actress in her role as Scott’s/Jason’s decoy girlfriend, if you can believe it.

2)   The romantic ending was so well earned and so sweet and so realistic. When he tells her, she has to take time to think about it, considering the risk of loving him. It’s just fantastic.

3)   All the children in the film looked surprisingly like their actor parents. It’s spooky. And adorable.

4)    I liked this film so much that I think I may see it again in theatres. It is really that good.

5)   I also really liked the way the film is edited. The opening credits are cool, and go by quick and painlessly. The film also skips a lot of parts—the pregnancy—and a lot of years, which was really interesting, as you’re able to see relationships really progress.

6)   I really liked Jon Hamm and Jon Hamm’s character. Very realistic.

7)   I was less of a fan of Maya Rudolph. But then again, I never like her.

8)   I thought the whole friends with kids idea wasn’t all that terrible. But then, I’m not a parent.


1 comment:

  1. I saw this one at TIFF and really adored it, your review is great. I haven't watched Parks & Rec before, but Adam Scott definitely made me want to :)


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