Oh to be Jennifer Westfeldt and to unashamedly reap the perks of stepping out with the uber successful dreamboat that is Jon Hamm. Aside from the swoon-inducing obvious, the gratuities unfairly culminate in being able to write, direct and star in your own film, regardless of how shocking your talent, and then get him to rope in his A-Lister pals too.
Picture the scene – Jon Hamm (scotch in hand, candidly puffing on a Lucky Strike, obviously) speed-dials his old Bridesmaids pal Kristen Wiig…
KW: Oh hey Hamm head, how’s tricks?
JH: Oh you know, awesome.
JH: Listen K-Dawg, I need a favour – the missiz has written a poor pretext for a script and I’m up against it. Will you be in it? Your part is really small and your talent for comedy will be totally wasted but we’ll put you on the posters anyway.
KW: I’m not sure Jonny…
JH: Oh go on. O’Dowd’s keen, ish. Although he wants to try a different accent, I think he’s trying to break away from the loveable leprechaun thing. Pretty please Kris, the ball and chainsaw has me by the, er, balls.
KW: *reserved sigh*
Plotline: Bestest platonic pals Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) decide to have a kid (her clock’s ticking, he fancies a jolly), but just as friends, mind, as they’ve witnessed the destructive impact children can have on relationships. They’ve got it all figured out; they don’t fancy each other so they’ll battle through a gauche sexual encounter, have the kid and still date other people. Yes, really. Can you guess the ending? Spoiler alert: Snape kills Dumbledore.
The subject of whether men and women can ever actually be ‘just friends’ is an interesting one to investigate but the full blown, cringe-inducing conclusion is so apparent from the onset that there’s no time for relationship exploration, even though the film moves at a painstaking glacial pace. It’s a sobbing shame as there’s some potentially funny dialogue and yet it fails to raise a laugh. I’m a big fan of Adam Scott and so bless his cotton socks for shouldering the film (the man is Atlas incarnate) and relentlessly trying to conjure up chemistry with the weak, whimpering Westfeldt. Alas, to no avail.
The concept of bringing a child into the world where the parents are just old chums is actually a tad twisted and it’s farcical that neither character ponders the consequences before leaping (albeit awkwardly) into bed. It’s also borderline bizarre that despite ‘kids’ being the driving force of the film, they are painted in such a migraine-inducing light. I’m no expert on rug-rats, but Westfeldt clearly isn’t either. Surely there’s more to children than the clichéd screaming nightmares they’re portrayed to be in this torrent of trite? There must be one positive to having kids… anyone? According to this, the only alternative to having one’s own brood is to become a blithe and nubile Megan Fox. No contest much?
By Alicia MacDonald