Established May 2010.

Gordie: Do you think I'm weird?
Chris: Definitely.
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Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody's weird.

Film Critic for Twin Cities Live

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Sunday, March 11, 2012


Director/Writer: Jennifer Westfeldt
Starring: Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, John Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudoloph, Chris O'Dowd

"Love.Happiness.Kids. Pick Two." is a perfect tagline for the movie. Maybe in real life you can have all three. For the couples in the new script by Jennifer Westfeldt, you can't be too greedy. Jason (Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) are two best friends who know everything about each other, but they don't have a sexual attraction to each other. Their close friends are two couples (Kristen Wigg & John Hamm and Maya Rudolph & Chris O'Dowd) who each have kids. As the kids reach toddler age, their friends are not the same as they once were. They don't go out as much, their relationships are crumbling, and they don't seem happy. Jason and Julie both want a kid but don't want to fall into this unhappiness that their friends have fallen into. An idea comes to mind to have a child together but raise their child as friends and not force a relationship upon it. Their friends are very skeptical that it can work as smoothly as Jason and Julie make it out to sound. Julie gets pregnant and Jason vows to raise the child like another other normal father would. Due to the fact that are not in relationship, Jason starts dating a Broadway dancer (Megan Fox) who could care less about the child. Julie carries on a relationship with a recently divorced man (Edward Burns). While they are both enamored with their new flings, there is still something missing.

The movie is fairly predictable throughout but that does not translate to being a boring story. I was curious to see how it all unfolded. The ending does not come as a surprise, but happens so abruptly that I needed another scene or moment afterwards to process the final line. It does bring up some interesting points about how important a sexual life is in a relationship and how relationships change as children enter the picture. All three couples in the movie are faced with different challenges while trying to make their marriages work. Adam Scott typically plays supporting roles (“Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers) so it is a great treat to finally see him carry a movie. The story is completely about Jason and Julie which makes the other couples seems left in the dust at times. Even though there are a couple of ensemble scenes, I would have liked to see more of Hamm, Wigg, Rudolph, and O’Dowd. Friends with Kids is a great adult “dramedy” about relationships that feels different than your average Judd Apatow flick.

RATING: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

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  1. There wasn’t anything here that made me laugh-out-loud but there was definitely just enough of insight and good performances to hold me over. However, when you have 4 of the main cast members from the biggest comedy of last year, it’s kind of lame to give them really nothing funny to do or say. Good review. It was a good one, just nothing all that special. Check out my review when you can.

  2. Thanks for reading, Dan. I read your review and really liked your point on how the first hour was better than the second hour. I think the comedy seemed bigger and wittier during the first one and died down once the couples themselves were struggling. I wonder if that was a conscious choice on Jennifer's part. I'm glad you think that the supporting cast was not used and given enough to fully show them off as strong comedic actors. I know it's far different than Bridesmaids, and I don't think it was trying to be on that level. I just wish they would have been given more material for their characters.