TORONTO 2011

Video Blog: Vigalondo's 'Extraterrestre' & Westfeldt's 'Friends with Kids'

by
September 12, 2011

Jennifer Westfeldt's Friends with Kids

As I continue seeing films at the Toronto Film Festival, it's always hard to keep up with written reviews of everything, since I usually see three or four films per day. Instead, I met up with my good friends Jordan Raup of The Film Stage and Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm to record a video blog, right on the street, talking about two films we saw in the last few days. This video includes our thoughts on Nacho Vigalondo's new sci-fi drama Extraterrestre (aka Extraterrestrial) and Jennifer Westfeldt's new indie dramedy Friends with Kids, which is basically an indie version of Friends with Benefits, but with Kids, too. Watch below!

My own quick thoughts on each (with more discussion in the video): Extraterrestre is barely science fiction, only in the slightest, it's more of a romantic drama, and it's just okay; the nuances of the relationships and the performances are the only redeeming values. Friends with Kids is fun, funny and genuine, but still feels like the third "friends with benefits" kind of relationship comedy we've seen this year. Great performances all around, an enjoyable film, I liked it but didn't totally love it. Watch our first Toronto video blog here:

Extraterrestre, written & directed by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes), stars the gorgeous Michelle Jenner as Julia and Julián Villagrán as Julio. This was its world premiere and it doesn't have a US distributor yet. Here's the perfect plot synopsis to setup the story: Everyone knows what to do if one morning the sky would be absolutely full of UFOs: run as fast as you can. However, what would happen if the invasion started while you are in the flat of the girl of your dreams, the one you just met last night?

Friends with Kids, written & directed by New York City-based filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt, stars Westfeldt herself as well as Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Edward Burns and even Megan Fox. It doesn't have a distributor yet, as far as we know, but I expect it'll be picked up soon, as the film is definitely a solid crowd pleaser and should have a good lasting effect on most people who see it. Here's the quick plot intro: A warm-hearted romantic comedy with an edge, Friends With Kids is inspired by that moment when a tight-knit circle of friends begins to unravel, right as some begin to have children.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9emWB_rrMt0 Crapola
    Good review, also the tshit that Peter is wearing says 'Attack of the Grouch' is in a typeface I designed many moons ago.
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9emWB_rrMt0 Crapola
      That is some of the worst writing ever, I think I have dementia.
  • Ben
    This reminds me. I was in Toronto taking the bus home and passed by Peter who was walking down the street. I knew I recognized him, but I could figure it out from where until a minute or two later. So this video confirms my suspicions. 
  • Jessie
    Vigalondo rules. This generation of young Spaniards involved in the movie industry looks promising.
  • Anonymous
    Didn't any of you guys watch Vigalondo's short films? things like "Domingo" or "Codigo 7"? Didn't you realize that the only piece of CGI we've seen in any promotional image of this was that one corner of the ship? Wasn't it described everywhere as a romantic comedy with an alien invasion backdrop? Hadn't you read any interview with Nacho where he would explain that it was made as a small project inbetween bigger stuff, and that it was made for a couple of bucks, in a couple of weeks, almost entirely shot in the same flat? Then why would you expect anything but... this. If it dissapointed you, if it wasn't what you were expecting it was only your fault for going into the theater full of prejudices. At least, if you are going to do that, take your time to form your prejudices like a grown up, don't just base them on the poster and name of the film.

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