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FRIENDS WITH KIDS

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NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Buttery B.

It’s 4:18 in New York City and Jason Fryman (Adam Scott) wakes up to his iPhone ringing from his nightstand. His best friend Julie Keller (Jennifer Westfeldt) is calling, and as the scene alternates between their respective bedrooms we see that they are both in bed with a companion. Julie engages Jason in a “Would you rather” game, and Jason studies the naked form of the woman sleeping beside him and laments that he will soon break up with her. Julie, meanwhile, expresses a reluctance to be intimate with the man sleeping beside her.

We next see Julie and Jason meeting their friends for dinner in the city. Julie and Jason, who live on different floors in the same apartment building, meet in the elevator. Julie towers over Jason in her heels and asks jokingly if he feels insignificant. The pair arrive at a restaurant together and greet their friends, Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O’Dowd). Through typical dinner banter, it is revealed that Leslie and Alex are pregnant. Amid the celebratory chaos, Ben and Missy (who were implied to be having sex in the bathroom) arrive. Observing a couple at another table that are dining with young children, the group of friends vow to never be “those people.” In that moment, they seem to be the picture of New York sophistication and success.

Four years later, Jason and Julie are rushing to get to Jason’s birthday party, hosted at the home of Leslie and Alex. Gone are the “sophisticated” people we saw just moments ago. Now Leslie and Alex are the picture of chaos and unrest. They are very clearly unprepared for house guests. Children are screaming, and the house is a mess. The situation becomes more stressful when Missy and Ben arrive with their own young child. As the six friends are eating, the two couples manage to anger their significant others (Leslie gets angry when Alex doesn’t jump up to answer the crying baby monitor, and Ben says something to the effect of “You’d think I raped her to have a kid” when Missy they get into a fight about their baby.)

Julie and Jason escape the chaos to finish off the night in a bar, eating the remnants of Jason’s birthday cake and toying with the espresso machine Julie got for Jason. They start to discuss how having children sucks the romance out of a relationship, and how it would be better to have a child before meeting “the person” you end up marrying. That way, they decide, you don’t ruin your marriage by dealing with the chaos of raising a young child.

Through a quick montage, we see Julie and Jason continue to contemplate the idea over drinks and with their friends. While Leslie and Alex feel that Julie’s age is the motivation, Ben and Missy think that the two are completely nuts and that their plan will backfire.

Despite their friends disapproval, Julie and Jason decide to go for it. They share drinks and watch porn, but there is definitely awkward tension. As they transition into bed, they discuss how Julie isn’t Jason’s typical girl (she apologizes about not having big tits), and he says that he’s a “grower, not a show-er.” This leads to more playful banter and awkward attempts at kissing. At one point Julie even wonders aloud if they should be doing this. Finally, they are able to get down to business.

The movie plunges nine months into the future. Jason is on a date with a woman (he later comments that she isn’t his type because she “over-pronounces French words”) when he gets the call that Julie is in labor. In the delivery room, he demonstrates that he has been involved with Julie’s pregnancy by asking the doctor to use hand sanitizer and later trying to prevent the doctor from giving Julie an episiotomy, stating that Julie wants to get back into the dating scene as soon as possible. The doctor does an episiotomy anyway, prompting Jason to say “your vagina looks like a jellyfish” and prompting Julie to say “I feel like [the baby] is coming out of my ass!”

After delivering a baby boy named Joe, friends and family come to visit. Jason’s father hands a check directly to Jason (“this is for your part”) and quickly retreats without handling his newborn grandson.

As the film progresses, we get to see how Julie and Jason adjust to becoming parents to their shared child. Jason gives Julie the espresso machine she had originally given him, and they decorate the baby’s room together. They interview for a nanny, and after screening an attractive candidate, Julie makes a rule that Jason can’t sleep with the nanny. They end up hiring an old woman. Jason continually encourages Julie to get back to the dating scene, even motivating her to do kegels.

Leslie and Alex and Missy and Ben come over to Julie’s apartment to see Joe. It’s a stark contrast to the chaos that ensued at Leslie and Alex’ apartment earlier in the movie. Jason manages the kids with a Thomas the Tank Engine video, and Julie prepares espresso for everyone. They all chat and discuss Julie and Jason’s arrangement. Everything seems positive.

Next we see Julie getting ready for a date. As she prepares to leave, she voices that she would really rather spend the day with Jason and Joe. Jason scoffs at this and tells her to enjoy herself. While Julie is out, Jason takes Joe to the park and spots Mary Jane (Megan Fox) having trouble with her dog. Jason uses his son as bait (pretending that Joe is trying to pronounce the word “dog”) to strike up a conversation with Mary Jane. At first she’s offended, but then she warms up to Jason. He seals the deal when he paints his relationship with Julie as a stoic favor he’s performing.

While we see Jason and Mary Jane develop a relationship, Julie finally gets a romantic break of her own. She attends a function of sorts with Leslie and, just as she’s about to head home, meets Kurt (Ed Burns). He’s a recently divorced single father, and the pair hit it off. They end up hooking up at Kurt’s apartment. As they’re making out passionately, Julie keeps interrupting to share details of her personal life. Kurt asks something to the effect of “do you always talk this much?” And she finally shuts up long enough to get some much needed action. Meanwhile, Jason is at home with Joe, who has an explosive bout of diarrhea.

When she returns the next morning Jason is angry because she never told him that she’s be gone for the whole night, and he missed out on seeing Mary Jane and spent the night cleaning shit off the walls.

The friends are all getting ready to go on a ski trip for New Years. Now there are four couples: Leslie and Alex, Ben and Missy, Julie and Kurt, and Jason and Mary Jane. Upon meeting Kurt for the first time, Jason is thrown off by how much his son seems to favor the new guy. Meanwhile, all of the guys seem to be taken with Mary Jane, and are shamelessly vocal about it.

While at the ski cabin, Julie continuously accommodates Jason: first, she agrees that Joe can sleep in her and Kurt’s room (Jason and Mary Jane proceed to have noisy sex). Kurt, meanwhile, is a trooper. As they’re laying in bed together, Julie poses one of her “would you rather” questions to Kurt. He doesn’t get it like Jason does, and she changes the subject.

The next night is New Years. Over a tense dinner, Ben drinks too much and starts attacking everyone around the table, focusing on the odd dynamic of Julie and Jason’s relationship. He says that their plan won’t work in the long run, and that everyone knows it. He ends his spiel by saying something that pointing out how much his and Missy’s sex life has suffered. Everyone at the table is left silent, embarrassed and offended.

Cut back to New York. Ben is packing up his car, obviously thrown out by Missy, who watches from the window of their apartment. It’s Julie’s birthday, and she meets Jason at the restaurant. When Jason realizes that none of their friends are coming, and that it’s only the two of them, tension rises. Julie admits that she has feelings for him and wants them to be together, because he’s her “family.” She even tries to kiss him, but he pulls away.

After her failed birthday dinner, Julie makes some serious changes in her life. She packs up and leaves her apartment, moving to Brooklyn. We also see that she has broken up with Kurt and is making a feeble attempt to date again. She breaks down and confides in Leslie, who comforts her.

Meanwhile, Jason is dining with Mary Jane. There is a couple with two young children sitting opposite of them, and Mary Jane looks at the kids with disdain, wondering aloud what kind of parents bring their kids out. Jason engages the parents in conversation. He and Mary Jane look at each other in a moment that signifies their difference of opinion and the end of their relationship.

One night Jason goes to Julie’s Brooklyn apartment to drop off Joe. He also comes bearing a gift. Joe, now old enough to walk and talk, playfully insists that Julie open the present, and that Jason stay the night. A flustered Julie finally agrees to open the present, and concedes that Jason can tuck Joe into bed. The present turns out to be “The Fryman / Keller” family album, full of pictures documenting both Julie and Jason’s relationship, and Joe. Julie is obviously affected by this and quickly puts it away. After Joe is put to bed, Jason starts to make moves on Julie. She’s offended and throws him out. He drives away but, while sitting at a traffic light, he decides to turn around and try again.

He confronts Julie a second time. She asks how she’s supposed to know that he’s attracted to her, and he says something to the effect of “sleep with me, and if you can’t tell that I’m attracted to you then I’ll never try to be with you again” (in more or less words). Julie ponders his proposition, then offers the film’s closing line: “fuck the shit out of me.”


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