Friends With Kids Review By Jessica Johannsen

With a title like “Friends with Kids”, it’s safe to say that you pretty much know what you’re getting into with this film. The film tackles the ever present issue of unconventional parenting techniques in today’s modern world, following the story of two best friends deciding to have a child together despite not being romantically involved with one another. Jason (played by Park’s and Recreations Adam Scott) and Julie( played by writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt) discover that in comparison to their already parented group of friends, the two of them have gotten a slow start to finding what they call “the perfect one” to settle down and start a family with. Through the course of their decision to have a child together, they eventually discover the difficulty of how adults find themselves trying to balance parenthood along with sustaining relationships within social groups as well as with their significant others.

In the film, the decision to have a child together is briefly discussed between the two friends, and after the obligatory awkward conception, the film fast forwards to the delivery room. In fact, the first two years of their child’s life is rushed forward in this film only briefly checking in each character’s attempts at dating and a glimpse into what Jason and Julie’s friends think of the situation.

Speaking of the friends, Jason and Julie’s circle of friends include the likes of almost the entire cast of “Bridesmaids” with performances by Mya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Chris O’Dowd and Jon Hamm (who by the way is Westfeldt’s real-life boyfriend). Throughout the film, each couple raises concerns towards the before-mentioned balance involved with parenting and is presented in realistic portrayals of arguments. The relationship specifically played by Wiig and Hamm was especially well done and was approached with delicate emotion, while the Rudolph/O’Dowd couple brought likability and the humor that was seemingly missing otherwise in this movie.

I think the film was admirable in that it shed light on the growth of couples becoming involved in unconventional pregnancies, but the story was quite weak in general and left quite a bit for viewers to just assume.  With all the fast-forwarding, you really miss out on the planning process between Jason and Julie leading us to assume that most of the intricate details of this arrangement simply were not brought up. Of course, it then comes as no surprise that when Jason dates Megan Fox’s character, and Julie dating Edward Burn’s character, that lack of planning and possible problems where never discussed in full.

There’s a predictable ending that attaches itself to almost every romantic comedy, and most of the comedy and drama from the film came from the group of SNL alum friends. I found it hard to connect with the two main characters and just what their decision was based upon, other than it would be easier to endure the difficult task of parenting with each other rather than to potentially ruin a relationship with “the perfect one”.  I would suggest seeing this movie only if you happen to be fan’s of the Wiig, Rudolph, O’Dowd and Hamm crew…as long as you’re prepared to laugh far less than anything else these actors have been in.

By Jessica Johannsen

Watch Trailer Here

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