I read the review after reading this tweet, wondering what absurd panjandrumosities I might find here to harp about, but . . . I read the whole thing and have no idea what it means, besides that the author really liked the movie. It appears that, predictably, the married couple are miserable about parenting, whereas the makeshift couple are together and with it . . . or wait. No, it’s the other way around, it seems, and Edelstein seems to think that’s the predictable formula, here.
But Friends With Kids doesn’t play like a movie in which the two leads, who supposedly love each other but aren’t “in love,” are headed for the clinch. Westfeldt—who in life lives with Jon Hamm and has publicly complained of hearing “You’re so lucky!” a million times—clearly knows she has the kind of on-the-border cuteness that gets frequently upstaged. When she has Jason say he’s not physically attracted to Julie, it’s entirely possible Westfeldt means that to be true. Midway through the film, he takes up with Mary Jane, an actress and dancer played by no less than Megan Fox. (It’s the sort of match in which he’d be the one to hear “You’re so lucky!” a million times and “She’s so lucky!” never.) Maybe Jason is the sort of pleasant-looking but slightly nerdy guy who couldn’t be comfortable with a woman merely cute, who requires a trophy mate. And maybe Julie should end up with the soft-blue-eyed dreamboat Kurt (Edward Burns), whom she meets after giving birth and who seems to find her edginess adorable. Some people need to date above their class.
Honestly, this thing reads like a restaurant review. It’s all about the tasteful tastes of tastefulness. We may go see the movie, just to see whether we can figure out what Edelstein’s on about.
A Literary Dinner
Come here, said my hostess, her face making room
for one of those pink introductory smiles
that link, like a valley of fruit trees in bloom,
the slopes of two names.
I want you, she murmured, to eat Dr. James.
I was hungry. The Doctor looked good. He had read
the great book of the week and had liked it, he said,
because it was powerful. So I was brought
a generous helping. His mauve-bosomed wife
kept showing me, very politely, I thought,
the tenderest bits with the point of her knife.
I ate–and in Egypt the sunsets were swell;
The Russians were doing remarkably well;
had I met a Prince Poprinsky, whom he had known
in Caparabella, or was it Mentone?
They had traveled extensively, he and his wife;
her hobby was People, his hobby was Life.
All was good and well cooked, but the tastiest part
was his nut-flavored, crisp cerebellum. The heart
resembled a shiny brown date,
and I stowed all the studs on the edge of my plate.