Friends with Kids

Two best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic, so they can avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.

Writer: Jennifer Westfeldt
Director: Jennifer Westfeldt
Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Maya Rudoloh
Runtime: 107 Minutes
Popcorn Score:  Small Popcorn with Butter

Even as “Rom-coms” go Friends with Kids is an unrealistic story.  It has a manufactured feeling to it from the very beginning and offers only the slightest level of comedic entertainment.

The story is about a group of friends; two couples and two individuals in the 6 person group that are not a couple.  Leslie and Alex (Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd -Bridesmaids, IT Crowd) married and for the most part happily in the rut of marriage and parental life.  Newlywed couple Ben and Missy (John Hamm and Kristen Wigg) fading fast but who once were the envy of all their friends for their sexual energy.  And finally Julie and Jason (Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeltd), when we meet them they are the two in the group that have always been best friends, they live in the same apartment building, share relationship stories, play games with one another and have always had a totally platonic relationship.  As Julie watches all of her friends having children while being in relationships that are anything but great, her and her platonic best friend get the crazy idea to have a child together.  Split the responsibilities, split the costs, and continue life as usual.

It didn’t sound like a good idea to their friends…or most in the audience, but after some mildly amusing moments figuring out how the conception was going to work out.  The baby is born.  Things work out for a while but then the reality sets in as the child grows and the two platonic parents fall into serious relationships.  Jason with a young actress Megan Fox, and Julie with the perfect man Kurt.

It takes them a while to realize, and unfortunately they realize it at different times adding nothing to the movie but additional time to the 107 minute runtime, that what they have always wanted has been right in front of them the whole time.

It has some humor but is overall more of a drama that deals with the issues of a few different couples that you are never too interested.  Chris O’Dowd steals the scenes in comedic relief because as an audience member you are desperately seeking some entertainment.   Adam Scott delivers a pretty similar performance to his Park and Recreational character, only slightly more charismatic and good with women.  Kristen Wigg and John Hamm play the crumbling couple very well and Maya Rudolph is just ok and unattractive as usual.  Writer/ Director/ Star Jennifer Westfeltd delivers a solid performance in a role that she wrote and directed in a movie that I didn’t really care for…

I don’t recommend seeing this movie in the theater; it wouldn’t be the biggest waste of 2 hours or a $1.20 if you picked it up from a Redbox when that time comes.  If you are looking for a mature romantic comedy or comedy, I would recommend something like “Crazy Stupid Love” or Our Idiot Brother much more.

Small Popcorn with Butter. 


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