1 hour 47 minutes
Rated R (Sexual Content and Language)
Directed by Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox, and Edward Burns
3 out of 4 stars
HITS PA THEATERS MARCH 9
Wait wait. Is this Bridesmaids 2 because Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Chris O’Dowd are all in it? Sadly no. Writer/director and star Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids is far from being a laugh-out-loud riot like Bridesmaids. And sadly, the four actors I just mentioned aren’t the main characters of the movie. Westfeldt (real-life girlfriend of Jon Hamm) and Adam Scott (who’s usually popular for playing small roles in a bunch of comedies like Piranha and Step Brothers but right now is big on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) play Julie and Jason. They’re 30 somethings living their lives in NYC as their coupled friends (Hamm and Wiig and Rudolph and O’Dowd) busy their lives with kids. So Jason and Julie think up of an idea. Why don’t they have a baby together without being a couple so they can ignore all the baggage that comes with marriage and relationships?
The movie does go off into cliches a bit near the third half. After they have their kid Jason and Julie start seeing two really hot people (Megan Fox and Edward Burns) but then (and I’m sorry but I guess I’m giving this away so SPOILER ALERT but it’s kinda obvious) they start to question if they should actually try and be together as a real couple. Westfeldt though is a smart writer and does her absolute best to not make it seem like a typical rom-com ending. Above all she has written a very real and intelligent comedy. The actors here are great at not overacting and they make themselves feel like real people that anybody could meet and befriend in New York. I love the Jason/Julie relationship. They have a relationship that you never really see in movies. They’re best friends and are free with experimenting with one another. They don’t mind having sex. They don’t mind agreeing to do this wild crazy experiment with having a baby without being a couple. Their relationship is very unique and Scott and Westfeldt are great together.
I did want the movie to have a few more jokes than it does but it’s more interested about being realistic than laugh-out-loud. I remember when it screened at Toronto last year some critics argued that they would have preferred Kristen Wiig in the lead role instead of Westfeldt. Well, Wiig is a little bit underwritten here but I think Westfeldt is beautiful and lovable in the lead role. It’s also wonderful to see Adam Scott play the main character for once too. He’s a natural at acting. Rudolph and O’Dowd are so enjoyable to watch. I’d definitely recommend Friends with Kids if you love original clever comedies about relationships in the Big Apple. And if you love watching a great cast work together.