Friends With Kids

Friends with Kids

Jennifer Westfeldt’s directorial debut, Friends with Kids, is a lighthearted romantic comedy with an indie sensibility striving to be something just a bit more but, inevitably, falling to all of the third act clichés that plague most romantic comedies.  A film basically about the way our relationships change when kids enter the picture, the film is charming if a little guileless and confused in thematic content.  The film follows a group of friends, all in different stages in their relationships and how they morph and change once they have kids.

The core of the film follows two best friends, played by Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott, who decide to have a kid together without all of the mess associated with it like a relationship or marriage.  The rest of the ensemble is filled out with alumni from Bridesmaids – Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Wiig, and Jon Hamm – a group of friends who end up having kids and, in effect, provide the best case for how having kids effects and strains romantic relationships.  Westfeldt and Scott’s characters’ platonic relationship works out pretty well until each strike out on their own romantic relationships with Edward Burns and Megan Fox, respectively.

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My Top 20 Films of 2011

Oops.  It’s been over two years since I last posted to this blog and to anyone who might have happened to be reading whatever useless nonsense I was writing up here, I do apologize.  What can I say?  Life happened.  Things came up, got busy, and the things that no one was paying me to do fell by the wayside.  So, I’ve decided to change the layout, change the name (because I really hated the previous one and can at least tolerate this newest one), keep up the old posts, and chug along here posting up whenever I have the time.  Probably not as frequently as I would like but I really hope this won’t end up abandoned once again.  Anyways, what better way to re-introduce myself into the fold than to take part in that great year end critical tradition, the year end ranking of our favorite films of the year.  Now the problem with my list is twofold.

First, it is nowhere near comprehensive as there are many (probably) great films that I either just haven’t gotten around to or just aren’t playing anywhere convenient at the moment.  This isn’t my job so there are several anticipated movies that could possibly shove their way onto this list at some future point so I may amend sometime in the future.  This is why I decided to wait to post this thing until January 1st so as to give myself ample time to catch up on some of my more anticipated movies.  Among those that I feel like I’m missing out on and could easily claw their way in here include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Shame, War Horse, Rango, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Carnage, Mission Impossible, The Adventures of Tintin, The Artist, A Dangerous Method, Tyrannosaur, Like Crazy, Margaret, Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Hanna, Meek’s Cutoff, etc. etc. etc.  Like I said, there are many I have missed out on and these are only the more major ones.

Second, I am crap with ranking movies and my memory is absolutely awful.  If I tried ranking these movies on my own, there would be a wide swath of movies I’m sure I’d forget to put on here.  I am an idiot and I must live with this debilitating character trait.  Thankfully, I have taken to using the website Flickchart.com.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a website that randomly matches two movies against each other and you pick which one you like better.  After a while of ranking movies, a list begins forming of your favorite movies.  After a dull weekend of being hopelessly addicted to the site, a good deal of my moviegoing life seems to have been ranked and catalogued.  Now, after I see a movie and a good amount of time passes for the film to sit in my head, I put it in my Flickchart and I see where it ranks.  I have used this ranking as my baseline and am basically copying it from there and using that for my Top 20.  Anyways, now that’s out of the way, click through for my favorite 20 movies of the past year.

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