Friends With Kids
Released September 9, 2011
Directed By Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox, and Edward Burns
Friends With Kids is an independent comedy revolving around longtime friends Jason (Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt). Although not romantically involved, they are very close with two married couples, Alex and Leslie, and Ben and Missy. Four years go by, while the two married couples have children. They all have dinner together on evening and realize how much their marriage is hurting after having kids. Ben and Missy both want children, therefore, they come up with the crazy idea of having kids together, but stay apart and date other people. Their idea works at first, but they soon realize they should have thought about the idea a little more, after things don’t go as planned in the long run.
The film is packed to the gills with big names. Every actor is spot-on and does a great job, although a large cast doesn’t leave a lot of room to make an impression. Jon Hamm impressed me the most, even though he didn’t get a whole lot of face time. One scene in particular was quite impressive, at the dinner table on New Year’s at the lodge while everyone is on vacation. There was a ton of emotional tension that really took things up a notch, after starting out so mellow. Jennifer Westfeldt is the director and one of the leading cast members, and I thought she did a respectable job, but obviously with a wacky premise and watered down script, things aren’t going to be amazing. It’s like a cousin of the film Bridesmaids, with many of that film’s stars and a little bit of the same humor, just nowhere near as funny or impressive.
With such a silly idea to start, Friends With Kids comes off as exactly that, silly. It’s just a feel-good comedy that was made for sheer entertainment, and sometimes it doesn’t even do that. Each character is a stereotype and mostly uninteresting. Megan Fox was thrown in for some eye candy, obviously, but she isn’t likable or enjoyable to watch, only to look at. The film is centered on Scott and Westfeldt’s characters and in the end, it becomes a cliched mess. There is some entertainment to be had here, with cute humor and characters, but it comes at the expense of emotional depth and overall quality. Overall, Friends With Kids is merely a forgettable and cliched film, glazed with an attractive NYC backdrop and a talented cast.
2.5 out of 5