The Dinner: Kids eating and throwing food around at the University Village Boom Noodle while adults drink and marvel at the ensuing mess that the waitstaff will have to clean up.
The Screenplate: A gaggle of white, affluent New Yorkers who've known each other forever struggle with issues surrounding commitment, romance and children in the hiply-soundtracked (Wilco! Regina Spektor!) indie dramedy Friends With Kids. Shockingly, this movie wasn't written and directed by Edward Burns, although he's perfectly cast in a supporting role as a hunky divorcee dad who vies for the heart of the film's actual writer and director (who also stars, like Burns does in all his films), Jennifer Westfeldt.
Burns' female counterpart is played by Megan Fox, shrewdly dipping her freshly-pedicured toes into the indie realm at a time when to not try something drastic would likely render her to a career posing for lad magazines and Playboy. Rocking the bedroom of Westfeldt's best friend and baby daddy, played by Adam Scott, she holds her own against literally half the cast of Bridesmaids (Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd and Kristen Wiig all have prominent roles). Was Westfeldt's flick shot between takes of that blockbuster? Only their disparate locations throw cold water on such a theory.
But, frankly, if this is a repertory of sorts forming, we'll take another helping, please. Somehow watching Hamm (Westfeldt's longtime romantic interest in real life) play against his Don Draper type never gets old, and all involved take surprisingly well to the "drama" half of "dramedy," especially Step Brothers scene-stealer Scott, a jackrabbit-quick actor who naturally comes off like Paul Rudd playing Tom Cruise. Probably the worst thing about the movie is you can predict how it will end within the first 15 minutes, much like dinner at the University Village Boom Noodle.
Boom Noodle is a sharply-conceived restaurant, so it's no wonder that they've been able to successfully expand beyond the Capitol Hill original. But whereas that location--and neighborhood--is geared decidedly toward a childless, urbane audience, its U-Village progeny is for...progeny. Save for the bar, kids are fucking everywhere, and Boom's noodles are everywhere but in their mouths. If the restaurant is full, it's as though an N-Bomb (as in Noodle Bomb, not what you're thinking) exploded all over the tables and floor. The bussers earn their money and then some; let's hope they're tipped out more generously than at a standard operation.
In Friends With Kids, Scott and Westfeldt complain early on about parents who bring their kids to restaurants that are clearly intended for adults. But the U-Village Boom Noodle is for kids. If you've got a problem with that, head for the Hill.