Friends with Kids is the Indie Rom Com that begins where the hit 90’s TV Comedy Friends ends: a close knit circle of friends who’ve made it past their crazy 20’s and are now pushing 30 and married with kids. The rub in the tale is two of the friends (Scott & Westfeldt) are still loving the free and sexy life of a singleton but yet both want kids of their own. So seeing the effects that marriage and parenthood has wrought on their besties (John Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph & Chris O’Dowd), the two friends devise an experiment and the hook of the movie: Can two friends have a child together and still be fun and Single?
Debut director Jessica Westfeldt is no stranger to the high concept rom-coms having co-written and starred in Kissing Jessica Stein about a single girl who after a string of nose dive dates decides to give lesbianism a shot. She’s assembled quite a cast – Bridesmaids stars Wiig, Rudolph, Hamm and O’Dowd join Parks & Recreations star Scott all perfectly pulling of both the raunchy jokes with the simmering enmity and the emotionally crushing moments. The only actor who prove to be a problem with is Westfeldt herself, she plays Julie, supposedly a woman on the cusp of Spinsterhood but Westfeldt herself already looks over the hill and gives a performance though endearing was no match for Scott who stole every scene he was in.
Though a very engaging and enjoyable film it feela very talky film which could of easily of been a play instead of a film. Like most indie movies the key moments are dialogue scenes and with talk this good regular movie narrative structure can go out the window. This movie also suffers from the folly that most progressive romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally, Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached succumb to which is ‘The All Talk, No Trousers’ syndrome where a fresh and novel approach chickens out by the third act.
Despite it’s un-cinematic-ness and it not really having the courage of its convictions, Friends with Kids is a funny and heartwarming getaway for those of us already suffering from Blockbuster fatigue.