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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Friends With Kids

And to finish off last week's films...


For an under-the-radar, indie (or at least seemingly indie) romantic comedy, it's amazing how much Friends With Kids has divided critics and "normal" moviegoers alike. Some consider it a wonderful alternative to your average Hollywood romcom that is funny and warm in equal parts, while others find it to be entirely unfunny, obnoxious and featuring the most unlikable characters since Sex and The City.

Not to be my usual self or anything but both sides definitely have their points, even if I personally found it to be overall far closer to the less enthusiastic point of view. There are bits that feel more authentic than your usual Hollywood fodder, it does have a great cast and its preposterously stupid premise works far better than it has any right to be.

That said, the characters weren't likable - and I mean at all - and, however much their relationships convince at some points, at other times everything feels tremendously artificial. The script is at times very smart, but I am perplexed at how people find it to be anywhere near laugh-out-loud funny and, though the premise holds up far better than it should, even then it is crushed under its own weight in the film's final act, as this "authentic relationship drama" moves closer and closer towards the typical romcom contrivances that fly completely in the face of what the rest of the film was apparently trying to achieve.

It's hard to take against a film with a cast as good as this and writer/director/star Jennifer Westfeldt's heart is clearly in the right place but I can't ever see this becoming the kind of beloved mainstream hit that Bridesmaids was - despite featuring many of the same people. And honestly, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really deserve to be.


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