In college I saw a movie called "Kissing Jessica Stein." In the film, Jessica, a single, Jewish woman in her early thirties, is constantly hounded by her family (mostly her mother) about finding a suitable Jewish man to marry. The pressure drives Jessica to begin dating outside of her typical type and she stuns her conservative family by dating and then moving in with a woman.
After seeing the movie I learned that the lead actress, Jennifer Westfeldt, had also written the film. I was wildly impressed and began to follow her career.
A few weeks ago the media started to heavily cover Westfeldt's newest project "Friends with Kids." Westfeldt not only stars in the movie, but wrote, directed and produced the film. "Kissing Jessica Stein" was about what happens when all of your friends get married and "Friends with Kids" is about what happens when all of your married friends start having children.
The movie has been getting a ton of buzz because of its all star cast. In addition to Westfeldt and her real life love, Jon Hamm, the cast also includes Adam Scott from "Parks and Recreation," Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd, all of "Bridesmaids." Megan Fox and Ed Burns also have supporting roles.
Jennifer Westfeldt plays Julie and Adam Scott plays Jason, college best friends who have become each other's crutch after countless bad dates and failed relationships. They even live in the same apartment building! When their two closest couple friends begin having babies they decide to parent a child together, but without the romantic relationship.
Westfeldt is perfect in this role. Her neurotic behavior is 100 percent relatable. Mid-movie, Westfeldt begins a relationship with a man named Kurt, played by Ed Burns. I have always loved Ed Burns and here he is a knight in shining armor. I left the movie thinking, "Please let me find my Kurt."
Adam Scott, as the father of Julie's son Joe (who by the way is played by the most adorable child actor), is not believable as a ladies man. Since I don't find Adam Scott attractive at all it was hard to root for him. In fact, it made it nearly impossible for me to believe he could have a relationship with someone like Megan Fox's character, as I think he is unappealing. To love this movie, you have to root for Jason and I just didn't.
In the film Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm play a couple who can't keep their hands off each other, which changes after they have kids. Kristen Wiig barely has any dialogue in this movie which is a shame. Jon Hamm's character starts out charming and becomes a giant asshole. I found myself giving him the death glare for the final 30 minutes of the movie.
Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd play the third couple in the group and they completely steal the show. Their relationship is authentic and endearing and I think they have the best lines in the film. I loved them together and their transition from newlyweds to parents was honest and hilarious.
The overall message of the film is: having children completely changes your life in a way that is all consuming and anything but glamorous.
When we left the theater we went next door to the Upper Crust for dinner and the entire restaurant was full of parents with young children. After seeing this movie I found myself looking at every single one of those parents and thinking, "Wow, this child has totally taken over your life."
For me, had someone else played opposite Jennifer Westfeldt, this movie would have been a A+. Since I couldn't get behind Adam Scott's character and for the lack of dialogue for Kristen Wiig, I give it a B+.
*Images courtesy of CoveringMedia.com, DivineCaroline.com, Freep.com, TIME.com and WeAreMovieGeeks.com.