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.