Movie review: Friends with Kids
KIDS will ruin your sex life, your relationship and your happiness.
This uncomfortable premise lies at the heart unconventional rom-com Friends With Kids.
Written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt, the film follows Julie and Jason, two long time platonic besties who decide to have a baby together.
They plan to divide custody and live separate lives in order to avoid the strain kids have on romantic relationships which they have seen evidenced by their friend's relationships.
Naturally things don't quite go to plan. Seems you really can't have it all even in the land of rom-coms.
Taking a leaf out of a Judd Apatow style play-book, the film is peppered with salty dialogue and combines light and silly jokes with heavier, harsher home truths, aiming to be both edgy and thought provoking while still being fun and enjoyable.
The problem is the film never fully embraces either side resulting in something that resembles a half cooked cake; it looks good on the outside but once you get to the middle it is all messy, muddled, incomplete and hard to digest.
The film hints at a larger message of the decline of nuclear families, fear of commitment and the sacrifices parents make to become parents but it never tackles these things head-on nor probes deeper than the surface.
The main message seems confused and incomplete.
The ensemble cast is a superb blend of comic talent which is made up of Bridesmaids alumni who work the material like pros.
It is an unusual and risky move for Westfeldt to cast herself in the lead role and but she does well even if it's her co-stars who often outshine her own performance.
While Friends With Kids is far from perfect it deserves points for venturing into largely unexplored territory for a rom-com and does have its moments of comic brilliance.
But a more focused approach could have made the film really shine.
Friends With Kids
- Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd
- Director: Jennifer Westfeldt
- Rated: MA
- Verdict: 2 out of 3 stars