MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Roadside Attractions
Directed by Jennifer Westfeldt. Starring Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt.
I have grown tired of films featuring adult males in arrested development who party hard, act rude and never grow up. It’s time for something fresh, but this movie’s not the answer. Friends with Kids is a film featuring adult couples who seem to be intelligent, witty and – uh – still sexually immature. And by “sexually immature”, I mean to say that they don’t seem to understand how to enjoy life after having children. The film gets some of its early laughs by showing us the deep character changes that occur with couples after baby makes three. One couple snipes at each other and begins to drink too much. Another couple seems to be screaming at each other most of the time (and this husband complains about how their sex life has gone south after the kid shows up).
Observing this obvious pain in their friends with kids, Jason (Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) decide that marriage isn’t for them. But they also start to think that having a child might be a good thing, as long as they don’t let love and marriage get in the way. They can take care of the baby 50/50 and use it as an angle to find sympathetic date partners. And they won’t have to go through the messy process of divorce. So one night Jason and Julie get drunk, make a baby, and set up all of the romantic comedy hijinks that you can imagine.
I had a hard time finding laughs with the entire premise of the film, since I found parenting two sons with my wife to be about the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Sure, kids change your life and get into your space – but that’s the point! The joys of marriage and family require you to let go of yourself and live for others. In the best of circumstances, these habits can serve as models for everyday Christian practice and the rewards of sacrificial love.
From its clumsy opening scene to its crude (and poorly staged) closing line, Friends with Kids is not much more than a vanity project for writer-director-actor Westfeldt and her New York actor friends.
As another film critic noted, real parents would be in the theater down the hallway watching The Lorax with their kids. Or playing with their children while waiting for Chipwrecked to come out on DVD. Now that’s sacrificial love!
One halo: A misguided and self-centered romantic comedy about family that doesn’t understand much about family.
Two pitchforks: Crude talk about sex, with much of it focused on lady parts; some non-graphic sex scenes.
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
COMMENTS! Do you have comments about this movie or movie review?
E-mail comments. (Comments will be posted to our web site.)
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH.
near the Akron-Canton airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW ·
North Canton, OH 44720
Toll Free: 800-831-3972
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
©2016 EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.