All their friends are married and having kids. Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) are neither married nor have kids. When they see how miserable their once happy friends have become, they figure there has to be a better way of being able to have it all. Perhaps the concept of the way people have kids is flawed? Perhaps you shouldn’t marry the father/mother of your kids. Maybe the best way to have kids and still love your partner is to have a child with your best friend and then marry the one you love?
Written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt this is a fresh, brave attempt at taking on the rom com genre. It has a fresh angle to the will they won’t they get together question, by throwing in baby talk and being supported by a wonderful ensemble cast. It is also refreshing to see that the usual suspects when it comes to rom coms are not cast. Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt lead the very strong ensemble cast with ease and comfort.
Westfeldt has managed to assemble a fantastic cast. At first glance it feels like Bridesmaids revisited, with half of the cast having appeared in that hilarious film (Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolf, and Chris O’Dowd). That was a smart move as that will be a big draw card for audiences. While there are some laughs in this film unfortunately it does not reach the heights of Bridesmaids.
The problem with having such a great and full ensemble cast (which also includes Megan Fox and Edward Burns) is that inevitably there will be too many storylines happening, some of them will be rushed, and some characters will be underutilized. All of the above happens in this film – the casualties being the whole cast of Bridesmaids!
It’s refreshing to see some truth in a rom com (Friends With Kids will have you asking, should anyone really have kids?) rather than just light and fluffy or very over the top situations. However, as hard as it tries to be different, because it is in the rom com category, it inevitably ends up being formulaic.
Friends With Kids has a good idea that is better served in a sitcom than a 100 minute film. A sitcom would have the ability to flesh out more stories and experiences – providing more laughs and connections with the characters.
Friends With Kids is a pleasant enough film but it just plods along. This is more of a Sunday afternoon DVD experience than a trip to the cinema.