Written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Friends with Kids is a dramatic comedy released in 2012. When friends Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) begin to experience the call of parenthood, they decide to have a baby together. Their copules friends Ben (Jon Hamm) and Missy (Kristen Wiig) and Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O’Dowd), who have recently experienced childbirth themselves see the incredible job that the friends are doing raising a child, they question their own relationships. Unfortunately problems begin to arise when Jason starts dating Mary Jane (Megan Fox) and Julie starts dating Kurt (Edward Burns).
Notable because of its strong casting connection with Bridesmaids (it stars four of the same main cast) it is easy to draw comparisons between the two films. But Friends with Kids relies more on the dramatic clout and relationships between its main stars as opposed to Bridesmaids gross-out, laugh-out-loud comedy. And in its central six, Friends with Kids is astonishingly engaging, with the chemistry shown between them all simply fantastic. You could spend hours listening to them talk about life and love, and the tribulations of both.
Sadly Friends with Kids strongest point is also its most frustrating. These are a group of people living reasonably trouble-free existences, with the only strife formed from their sometimes struggling relationships. They all have fabulous jobs, nice apartments in New York and on the whole have very little bad actually happening to them. This would not be a problem, if their relationship issues were more complex, but Friends with Kids drifts into the cliched romantic comedy routine far too quickly and never really recovers.
It’s neatly written and directed, with amazing performances at its centre, but Friends with Kids is not nearly acerbic, witty or memorable enough to be a great film. With an overall feeling similar to a Woody Allen film polished with Sex and the City and it at times drags and you can’t help but wish they’d hurry up and either get to another funny bit or some resolution.