Story About Jennifer Westfeldt's Movie Becomes Story About Jennifer Westfeldt's Childlessness

Perhaps it seems quite natural that since Jennifer Westfeldt wrote, directed and produced a movie called Friends With Kids, she would be questioned about the fact that she, herself, does not have any children. But Ariel Kaminer's New York Times profile doesn't just briefly mention the fact that she and partner Jon Hamm have been together for 14 years yet haven't had kids — it's basically the centerpiece of the article.

Kaminer writes:

When she is asked - as she has been, countless times - whether she and Hamm plan to have children, she doesn't say much. She says they haven't decided yet, or she jokes that they do at least have a dog. She seems much more comfortable discussing her films, all of which had their own high-risk gestations.

Well yeah, if you are a filmmaker, talking to the New York Times, you probably are more comfortable discussing your film than your uterus. The profile begins with Westfeldt playing with kids (a friend's). Her dedication to the cast and crew of the film — friends who pitched in, since the flick is so low-budget — is described as "distinctly parental."

And the question of offspring comes up again:

She and Hamm have been together 14 years. They've both exited their 30s. Surely they've had a few opportunities to talk through their reproductive options. So given Westfeldt's strong will and Hamm's insistence that women should be able to make their own choices, why the seeming need to appease her public by saying they haven't decided yet? Why not just say they're not having kids? Or at least say it's none of your business?

Perhaps they haven't decided? And maybe they're too polite to say "mind your own business"? In anycase, Westfeldt does answer, saying: "I kept feeling like I'd wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven't. 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. I may wake up tomorrow with that lighting bolt, and I'll have to scramble to make it happen. You were wondering how we make it work. One way is we're really mobile. No one's had to give up an opportunity they really wanted."

That "pretty great life" sounds awesome, especially because Jon Hamm seems to be the ABSOLUTE BEST — whether he's sweetly teasing Westfeldt about being a hopeless romantic or coming home rumpled, with cheese. Seriously, you come away from the profile knowing deep in your heart that Jon Hamm rules. The childless stuff is just kind of a mild annoyance, a persistent, nagging theme that seems rather beside the point, like interviewing Katy Perry about fireworks. But if the point of it all is that Westfeldt's movie is her baby, well, that's fine, but why does she have to give birth to anything? Why can't her movie be, you know, her movie?

Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm Give Birth (to a Movie) [New York Times]