Film: Friends with Kids

November 12, 2012

Sometimes you watch a movie just for the cast, and writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids (2011) has a great one, with Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, and Chris O’Dowd, among others.  Unfortunately it’s kind of an annoying movie:  too much drama, too few laughs, too many kids, not enough friends.

Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Scott) are single best friends who want to have a child, but don’t want all that marriage bullshit getting in the way.  So they decide, rather clinically and impulsively, to have a child together out of wedlock and share custody until they find the loves of their lives.  Their progressive child-rearing experiment looks brilliant at first — and then it doesn’t, when the stresses of parenting bring them closer together, and they turn out to be on different pages in terms of their relationship.

It’s a workable concept, and Scott and Westfeldt have a great rapport at the center of it, but in the end I found it a tedious ride.  It underuses its great supporting cast, the male characters are almost uniformly unlikeable, and the structural end game is utterly predictable.  It’s generally well performed, a handful of jokes click, and it does have a few compelling moments, but by and large this one grated on me, driven too much by cliché male behavior, unfunny low-brow language and shrilly arguing characters.  Easily missed.

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  • Lisa Moore November 19, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Cast was great, but agree annoying, especially since I knew how it was going to end at the first scene.

    • Chris East November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

      So many good actors, I wish they had all been in a different movie. Oh wait, they were…Bridesmaids!