Everyone I have spoken to seems to think Friends with Kids is Kristen Wiig’s follow-up for Bridesmaids. Written, directed by, and starring, Jessica Westfeldt, Friends with Kids only features your Bridesmaids favorites as background characters. Taking the no strings attached friendship idea a step further, Friends with Kids is mind bogglingly pedantic in its storytelling and short on actual laughs.
Jason and Julie are the best of friends. They’ve known each other since college, live in the same building, have the same friends, share the same interests, etc. Most would think they should be together, they always say they love each other, but just aren’t attracted to each other. Both of them want to be a parent and feel they’re at the right age for it, but neither has a long term partner and they’re both morbidly affected by how they see their friend’s marriages deteriorating after they have children. Then, they concoct the perfect plan. They’ll birth a child together, share custody, and continue to date others; beating the system while being the greatest parents in the world.
Even for a comedy, this is the most inane logical garbage I have ever heard. Setting the moronic situation aside, a deaf, dumb, and blind person could tell you the plot points and outcome. This literally is a friends with benefits situation, with a kid thrown in, and a lot less sex.
Most egregious of all the offensive bits of this film is filling it with popular actors and comedians, to have them really do nothing. It feels obvious that Westfeldt just called in favors from friends and her husband (John Hamm) to drum up interest from movie goers, instead of fleshing out a proper screenplay with actual wit and diversity. The only one who has really anything worth laughing at is Chris O’Dowd. I’m a big fan of him and his BBC series The IT Crowd, but he’s the least recognizable of the whole cast, while his attempt at an American accent is very odd.
There is a shining light though. Adam Scott, who plays Jason, started his career as a dramatic actor, but has largely been seen in comedic roles over the last few years. Yes, his breezy sarcastic delivery is in full swing here, but the film actually allows him to flex his dramatic muscles a bit more and he really delivers the goods. I have no hesitation in saying that if he were not a part of this movie, that the entire thing would be worthless. The kid the pair have is pretty cute too, points for that.
Friends with Kids tries to pass itself off as a fresh experience starring all your favorite TV actors turned movie stars, when all it really does is churn out the most familiar plot line in recent years, with a poorly thought out twist.
Rating: 1 and a half out of 5 ‘Staches