Friends With Kids Movie Review

With a hilariously smart script and a terrific cast, this romantic comedy rises far above the pack, engaging us emotionally and intellectually while offering some telling observations on the state of modern relationships.

Jason (Scott) and his best friend Julie (Westfeldt) are a bit horrified when their coupled pals Leslie and Alex (Rudolph and O'Dowd) and Ben and Missy (Hamm and Wiig) have children. So they decide to have a child without the baggage of a relationship, freeing them to find the right person once they're already single parents. Their baby son is adorable, and raising him brings them closer as friends while allowing them to pursue romances with the hot Mary Jane (Fox) and the sexy Kurt (Burns). But no one else is buying it.

Yes, the script kind of wimps out on its own premise, allowing more traditional values to take over. But along the way, there are astute, knowing scenes that challenge the status quo, finding humour and resonance in a variety of friendships and romantic liaisons. It's fairly impossible not to see yourself somewhere in here, as the superb collection of complex characters circle around each other. And even if the plot is deeply predictable, the script is tricky enough to keep us engaged.

At the centre, Scott and Westfeldt have terrific chemistry as a close friends who seem so much more balanced, honest and happy than everyone else, until the script pushes them in another direction. Fox gives her best performance yet (which perhaps isn't saying much) as a lively young women who simply can't copy with baby poo. While Rudolph steals every scene as an uproariously frazzled mum. By contrast, Hamm's more bitterly angry character gives the film some intriguing layers of jagged darkness.

Underneath a constant stream of raucous comedy and sharp dialog, this film makes some serious comments about anyone who's ever said, "Having children won't change us at all." Westfeldt creates some wonderfully chaotic scenes of kid-induced carnage while also observing the deep irony of this stage of life.

As one character asks, "How is it possible to love this strange creature more than the person you chose over everyone else?"

Comments

Friends With Kids Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2012

Advertisement

More Adam Scott

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

One of those swoony American dramas that explores life in all its wondrousness, this film will quickly annoy more cynical viewers. But others will find...

Ben Stiller And Kristen Wiig At 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' New York Film Festival Premiere - Part 1

The cast of adventure comedy 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' arrived for the Centerpiece Gala Presentation at the New York Film Festival held at...

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' Cast Pose Together At New York Film Festival - Part 2

Ben Stiller and Kristin Wiig, who play the lead characters in the new comedy 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty', pose together at the New...

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Trailer

Walter Mitty is an exceptionally ordinary man who has never dared venture out into the world or, indeed, made any effort to have some fun...

Advertisement

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Trailer

Walter Mitty is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life; he wakes up, eats breakfast, goes to work and comes home every night in the...

Ben Stiller's 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' Looks Crazy, Bizarre, Awesome [Trailer]

Ben Stiller stars in the highly-anticipated adaptation of James Thurber's 1939 short story The Secret of Life of Walter Mitty, with the first official trailer...

The Guilt Trip Movie Review

Virtually impossible to market, this film isn't nearly as wacky and rude as its cast and crew suggest. Despite the presence of Rogen (Pineapple Express)...

The Guilt Trip Trailer

Andy Brewster is an inventor who is determined to sell his brand new product by embarking on an 8-day 3000 mile road trip. To kick...

Advertisement