Friends with Kids

23 Jul

friendswithkids It’s hard to deny that friendships change when people get  married and have kids. Late-night carousing gives way to late-night nappy changes, tempers fray, relationships break down and there is little time for socialising. There is plenty of comedy gold to be mined from this premise, but writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt’s offering fails to sparkle.

Watching their friends Leslie and Alex (Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd) and Missy and Ben (Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm) descend into marriage hell, fun-loving besties Jason and Julie (Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt, pictured) decide to avoid the angst and stay single. However Julie’s biological clock is calling for a kid of her own, but she’s worried she won’t find Mr Right in time.

friendswithkids_picJason offers to help and the two plan to enjoy the best of both worlds by having a baby together, while remaining friends and dating other people. The pregnancy and birth go to plan and as the two take turns with babysitting duties, Julie meets perfect husband material Kurt (Edward Burns) while Jason launches a steamy romance with sexy Mary Jane (Megan Fox). Everything seems to be rosy, but this is Hollywood, and a looming plot twist threatens their cosy arrangement.

Written and directed by Westfeldt, who penned 2001’s Kissing Jessica Stein, the biggest problem with this movie is that the fabulous cast is weighed down by the miserable script. The hilarious Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), is unable to elicit laughs in her role as a depressed wife who hates her husband, played by Mad Men‘s gorgeous Jon Hamm, who himself is thoroughly unlikeable as a cranky alcoholic. Comedian Chris O’Dowd (The Sapphires), who revealed a romantic side in Bridesmaids, fails to charm as the lazy, slobbish husband of Leslie (Maya Rudolph), a stressed mum who is pertually screaming at her other half.

While the film’s assumption that kids will ruin your life is offensively simplistic, the hardest part to swallow (aside from the romance between Megan Fox and dorky Adam Scott) is that any grown-up person could believe that having a kid with your best friend while dating other people is a good idea.

2011, 107 mins, MA15+

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