Friends With Kids

Written & Directed by Jennifer Westfeldt

Cast: Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Megan Fox, Ed Burns

Adam Scott & Jennifer Westfeldt

Kristen Wiig & Jon Hamm

Jason (Adam Scott) and Jules (Jennifer Westfeldt) are long-time platonic friends who decide to have a child together (before it’s “too late”), split custody and care 50/50, while each continuing to look for “the One”.  Their married friends (comically ~ and at times, heartbreakingly ~ played by the reunited Bridesmaids clan listed above), are in equal measure shocked, wary and even offended by the idea (not that they share their feelings with the pre-natal pair).

Although a relatively novel idea at its premise, it is also one of those story-lines in which you know the inevitable outcome from the outset, so I wasn’t sure whether it would work.  However, I actually liked and appreciated the journey on which it took me to get from that tentative spark of an idea to the predictable conclusion.  It felt earned, refreshingly honest and on-the-mark…in fact, increasingly so as the film progressed.

The conversations and situations that ensue are actually timely and interesting and are, for the most part, handled deftly by the talented and likable cast, who, with their easy rapport, are easily believable as friends .  While Rudolph and O’Dowd play the more comedic couple, Wiig and Hamm’s screen couple prove to be surprisingly straight and serious, to great effect.  Westfeldt has a sharp ear for dialogue ~ even if she doesn’t knock my socks off as an actress (if only because she seems to play the same character in every film she does), I very much respect her work and direction.  And although Adam Scott is one of my favorite comedic actors on television (as the self-deprecating Ben opposite Amy Poehler‘s Leslie Knope in the fantastic Parks & Rec), he quite convincingly comes to the plate with a fairly raw emotional scene at the film’s end ~ a scene that entirely worked for me.

Maya Rudolph & Chris O’Dowd

A likable cast, cute kids, the guilty pleasure of gorgeous Manhattan & Brooklyn locations and sets and (at least for this single “middle-aged” childless gal) thought-provoking subject matter, all made for an emotionally honest, intriguing and enjoyable journey.

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