Though Jennifer Westfeldt doesn't yet have children of her own, watching her friends become parents provided more than enough inspiration for her new film Friends With Kids.
Jennifer wrote, directed, and starred in the film, which is about two best friends who decide to have a child together. The over-arching theme of the film is how having children affects the relationships and friendships of different people in different ways. When asked by the New York Times why she and her long-time partner Jon Hamm never had a child together, she replied, "I've thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I'd be at this age and not have kids." (Jennifer is 42, Jon is 41.) "But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated."
So if she always assumed she would have kids, then why hasn't she? "I kept feeling like I'd wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven't," she said. "And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we'll regret it doesn't seem like a compelling enough reason to do it." But, she admits, "I may wake up tomorrow with that lightning bolt, and I'll have to scramble to make it happen."
After seeing what happened to the relationships and friendships of her friends after they had kids, Jennifer thought it was important to touch on those issues in Friends With Kids. The film stars Adam Scott as Jennifer's best friend and baby-daddy, Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig as an unhappily-married couple, and Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd as a loving-yet-frazzled couple. "Best intentions aside," Jennifer said, "having kids always changes your friendships, at least in that first year or so, in a way that I think is painful for both of you." I LOVE her honesty about the whole subject! Usually you hear people going on and on about the wonders of parenthood, but rarely do they own up to the sacrifices that must also be made when you become a parent.
Friends With Kids is in theaters now -- if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. I saw it this weekend and loved every minute of it. The cast is great, the acting and writing are stellar, and it's funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.
What do you think of Jennifer Westfeldt's opinions on parenthood?
Photo courtesy of Fame Pictures