Stumbling At The Finish Line

Last night we watched Friends With Kids, written, directed, and starring Jennifer Westfeldt (Jon Hamm’s girlfriend of 15 years). As the name implies, it is about two friends who decide to have a kid without the romance, marriage, or typical commitment that usually accompanies raising a child. Watch the trailer here. It was sharply written, decently acted (the cast might still have chemistry leftover from Bridesmaids), and was generally delightful…

…until the last scene. The movie makes a wrong turn (quite literally when Adam Scott’s main character does the frantic, last-minute “turn-the-car-around-I-made-a-mistake” move) right at the end. Instead of delivering a moving, charming, interesting final speech to win over his love interest (“You complete me”) the audience, after 90 or so minutes of wonderful dialogue, is left with this abomination: “I want to fuck the shit out of you”. They jump on the bed. Roll credits.

It’s not the crassness of that final line that is so bad. The rest of the movie had crass moments, but was funny. During a birth scene, Scott says to Westfeldt “your vagina looks like an octopus!” There are plenty of crass but cute moments, but any goodwill was undone by the final 5 minutes. Vicky and I mused over what would have made a better ending. The answer is anything. Anything else would have been at least passable. The indie/artsy/angst-filled ending: they don’t get together. The hollywood ending: he wins the girl over with a final passionate, irresistibly romantic gesture. The Christopher Nolan Inception-esque ending: he turns the car around, sprints up to her front door, raises his hand to knock… and then it fades to black. Just about anything else would have been more satisfying. It is a shame when an otherwise pleasant experience lets you leave with a sour taste in your mouth.

I did laugh, however, when searching for reviews of this film and found one titled: “I do not want to fuck the shit out of this movie”.