Review: Friends With Kids

Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt in Friends with Kids.

Where Is This Going?

Rating: *

In Friends with Kids, a title similar to last year’s Friends with Benefits, writer-director and actress Jennifer Westfeldt tries to juggle several mundane characters and inane situations, thinking it would resemble a Lawrence Kasdan film, in this case, The Big Chill. That’s when I found out that Jake Kasdan is one of the film’s producers. Friends with Kids also stars four actors from Bridesmaids, last year’s hit comedy. So, technically, Friends with Kids is a Bridesmaids reunion.

Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt play the lead roles as two best friends who consummate their friendship for a baby. Mary Kay Place anyone? Then, there are your Bridesmaids stars, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm and Chris O’Dowd, who make up for the friends of these friends. Of these, it’s Hamm who lags behind, bringing his Mad Men antics to the table and proving nothing to them or to us.

Just when you think everything is boring, Westfeldt introduces Megan Fox as a possible girlfriend to Scott. As the film progressed, I noticed how much Kasdan’s classic has been ripped to shreds by Westfeldt who tries to drag you to the epicentre of the “friends face-off”. This face-off involves a war of words that ends with the scene, and continues in another scene, in another setting.

Wiig, Hamm and Rudolph are truly the auteurs of the film. You saw them have fun in Bridesmaids and you thought they would do the same. Get ready to be disappointed.

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Review: Jennifer’s Body

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Return of Girl Power

Jennifer’s Body (R)

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writer: Diablo Cody

Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody and Johnny Simmons

Genre: Horror

Rating: *

The only reason I’ve added an extra slot called ‘Writer’ is because Diablo Cody needs a special mention. Her Juno was path breaking. But, after Jennifer’s Body, you think, is this really Diablo Cody?

Cody returns to focusing on women (especially high school chicks) who are overpowered (or) pushed off the edge by certain men. In Juno, the title character is pushed off the edge by her long-term friend and it results in her pregnancy. Here in Jennifer’s Body, the title character is pushed off the edge by a group of gothic rock artists which results in her resurrection.

Megan Fox plays the title character, Jennifer Check. A lie about her virginity causes her to be nabbed by a group of gothic rock performers who offer her as a sacrifice to the Dark Lord Satan. But, the fact is Jennifer is not a virgin. Hence, Satan sends the impure soul back to her butchered body. And, she becomes not a vampire, but a succubus. Check the dictionary on that word – succubus. Here’s the first mistake Cody has made. A succubus isn’t a vampire. It’s just a self-obsessed demon (in the form of a woman) which “kills” men only by exhausting them off their energy through non-stop fluid exchange.

Back to the story… To survive, Jennifer eats her male classmates starting with a foreign exchange student from India. His name’s Ahmed but he wears a turban like Harbhajan Singh. Is he a Sardar or a Muslim?

But, the real eye candy is Megan Fox who returns after a dampener in Transformers 2. She’s electrifying! Yes, she’s got tattoos too. If Twilight was for the girls who went drooling over Pattinson, Jennifer’s Body is for the guys who will ultimately go drooling over Fox. And yes, I must mention Amanda Seyfried’s role as Jennifer’s BFF, Needy Lesnicki. Check out the name again! Needy is a needy friend who helps Jennifer with everything and even cleans the floor after Jennifer vomits blood (technically Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup) all over it. She is certainly a misfit in this movie. Amanda Seyfried has been paired up against some top-end performers like Lindsay Lohan (in Mean Girls) and Meryl Streep (in Mamma Mia!). Here, she tries her best to outwit Megan Fox. The story is unfolded by her, but in the end, Megan with her wide appeal wins.

The let-away by Cody is that she leaves Megan’s strength in that BFF necklace hanging around her neck. Her powers just vanish off to Neverland after that necklace is stripped off. Well, if a necklace could do this, think about Dracula. If we removed his hat or coat, would he have become mortal?

Rock music has been added along with the gore, blood and little skin to make it a high school flick. Believe me, Fox and  Seyfried’s brief make-out scene is just a crowd puller. Diablo Cody’s efforts to make Jennifer’s Body into a cult classic goes in vain. If you’re not a fan of girlie action flicks like Resident Evil or Underworld or the mild-mannered Charlie’s Angels, you will not enjoy Jennifer’s Body.

This isn’t a high school dork-gets-knocked-up story; this is a high school prom queen-gets-demonic story. So, watch out for the irrelevant call for blood. Make sure you’re drinking cola and not blood, ‘cause Megan’s not drinking cola for sure. She’s out to get you boys! As the black US President in 2012 says, “The world is never a safe place for us, innocent people.”