Fox 5 San Diego staff
5:47 AM AKST, March 10, 2012
While Woody Allen is off in Europe making his movies these days, I say we let Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) take over the New York scene.
In this romantic comedy that is rare in the fact that it is both romantic and funny, reminds me a lot of When Harry Met Sally. It’s not as good as that classic, but it’s a different, more interesting and honest approach on some of the discussions we’ve all had about married people. We get a lot of fresh insights here.
I thought Bridesmaids was the most overrated comedy of last year, perhaps of the decade. A few laughs in a totally unrealistic film. And perhaps you can make the same argument about this premise – two friends (Adam Scott and Westfeldt) lament on their married friends having kids and dropping out of their social circle; or the fact that when they invite the gang over for dinner and wine, they have to listen to a screaming kid and a couple that whines at each other.
Since the clock is ticking, they decide to avoid the middle man. Instead of having the big marriage and eventual divorce, why not just have a baby and stay good friends.
Trust me, a premise like that made me fear the worst. But here we get four folks that were in Bridesmaids, doing a movie geared towards adults and not teenagers, and it was a success.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few missteps. I thought the characters Megan Fox and Ed Burns played (they both did them wonderfully) were a little to perfect. They’re the ones Scott and Westfeldt date, while we all sit there wishing they would stay together and raise their wonderful baby.
Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Maya Rudolph, and Chris O’Dowd are all great as the married friends going through their ups and downs.
Some of this stuff is contrived and a few of the jokes are forced; but when I’m laughing every few minutes and actually have tears coming down my face when one character is telling another how much she loves him…it makes you wish every experience at the movies were like this.
Westfeldt has said this story (which she also wrote and directed), came about partly because of her 15 year relationship with Hamm. I’m just glad that, like Sylvestor Stallone when he was pitching Rocky and studios were interested (but wanted to make it without him), he stuck to his guns. I could picture the studios wanting to cast Halle Berry in the lead, or even somebody like Pam from The Office. And I really can’t think of anybody better than Westfeldt. She’s so radiant, charming, and…we want to slap Scott in the face and scream at the screen “Drop Fox and stay with her!”
It has the perfect opening scene, with a couple on the phone talking about the worst way to die. It’s an inside joke they do through out the movie; and here’s a sign of good writing. When Burns plays the perfect new boyfriend of Westfeldt, he isn’t interested in playing such a morbid game. Yet in another movie, they would’ve made the Burns character not be playful at all, which is unrealistic. Most people, even if they aren’t familiar with an inside joke or game you play with your friends, would be willing to give it a shot – just as he was. This is smart writing, people.
This movie does everything right, including the soundtrack. We get Regina Spektor, The 88, Wilco, Lyle Lovett and Jenny Lewis. And it could have what is the best, first sex scene ever.
The movie has a lot of heart to go with the humor.
I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.