Film Review: Friends with Kids

A romantic comedy drama, Friends with Kids works better as a drama than it does as a comedy. Nevertheless, it is suitably engaging material.

When they see the toll having children takes on the relationships of their friends, best friends Julie and Jason choose to do things differently. They decide to have a child together as platonic friends, so that it won’t spoil any romantic relationships they may have. Their friends have reservations about the arrangement, which prove to be well-founded…

Friends with Kids plays on the fact that it reunites much of the Bridesmaids cast. Given the success of that film, it is easy to see why this would be used as a selling point. Nevertheless, the comparison between Bridesmaids and Friends with Kids is a bit misleading. Although they are both comedy dramas, broadly speaking, Bridesmaids is a lot more humorous than Friends with Kids. Viewers expecting belly laughs from Jennifer Westfeldt’s film are likely to be disappointed.

There is humour to be found in the film, but this is slight rather than hilarious. Much more emphasis lies in the aspects of drama and romance. Writer, director and star Westfeldt attempts to depict characters in an authentic manner. For the most part, this works. Characters in Friends with Kids are believable in their interactions with others. Nonetheless, it feels as if a happy ending is shoehorned in rather than reaching a natural conclusion. The turn around in Jason’s character feels a little rushed, given the time taken to portray him in a different light previously in the film.

Performances in Friends with Kids are good overall. Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott have chemistry as the two best friends. Chris O’Dowd injects some humour, while Kristen Wiig is decent in a more serious role than usual.

Friends with Kids is an entertaining enough film, but more laughs would have been appreciated.

Friends with Kids is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from 12th November 2012.