Friends With Kids review

A lot of people have described Friends With Kids as the Bridesmaids renuion movie. Well it's not. It's better than that. Yes, it does star four members of the cast from last summer's surprise hit, but it's a lot smarter (and funnier) than Bridesmaids.

The story follows three sets of friends: Leslie and Alex are happily married with a baby on the way; Missy and Ben can't keep their hands off one another; and Julie and Jason aren't a couple, they're two best friends who aren't interested in the whole family thing. Cut to a couple of years later and the first two couples now have kids with both dealing with family life in very different ways. Julie and Jason decide they quite like the idea of a baby but don't want to have to deal with the relationship side and the perfect idea is to have a child together. You can probably guess what's going to happen but as the film reaches its destination the plot twisted and turned enough to leave me doubting whether we would actually get there.

While this is an ensemble comedy, the two leads – Westfeldt and Scott – obviously get the most screen time. They're a convincing would-be couple with great chemistry as friends and possible love interests. Rudolph and O'Dowd provide excellent support as the couple trying desperatly to work out how they ended up with two kids and very little sex life. Surprisingly, it's the two biggest "names" in the cast who felt like the supplementary characters. Wiig does her kooky-funny thing and Hamm gets to play a bit of a bastard, although real-life partner Westfeldt does give him one great speech to sink his acting chops into. Even the non-lead actors are very familiar: Fox and Burns pop up as love interests for Jason and Julie. And for once, Fox didn't make me want to pop my own eyeballs out (this may not be the reaction of most male viewers).

If the film hadn't wimped out in the final third and become a traditional rom-com it certainly would have earned another star, but it rolls so inevitably towards its end that it almost feels a little rushed. But the journey getting there should keep viewers with kids (and without) amused and engaged along the way.

Friends With Kids at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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