Directed by: Jennifer Westfeldt
Written by: Jennifer Westfeldt
MPAA Rating: R
Friends With Kids is about Jason (Scott; Piranha, Party Down) and Julie (Westfeldt; Kissing Jessica Stein), two best friends who watch as their group of friends have kids and become really unhappy and distant. With both of them getting older and still single, they come up with a plan to have a kid together that they both can take care of and then find the people they’ll fall in love with and they won’t hate that person from having to go through the early years of childhood with them.
Friends With Kids is the movie every single Hollywood rom-com wishes it was. It’s sharp, witty, and very funny. It gives in to some tropes of the genre and even has a similar plot to many of them but it does everything they do wrong right. It’s funny without resorting to goofy gags or gross out humor, instead relying on dialogue and characterization. And it’s dramatic moments are just as good and earned.
Perhaps the most important thing about Friends With Kids is that you buy the chemistry between the leads and here it’s perfect. Scott & Westfeldt seem like they’ve been friends for their whole lives. I have a female best friend who I’ve known for many, many years and I can honestly say that I really recognized a lot of that similar friendship in this. It’s perfect casting. And the performances are incredible. Adam Scott always is great, but he brings it hardcore to this performance and Jennifer Westfeldt also wrote and directed in addition to starring and putting in an award worthy performance.
The cast is rounded out by a ton of other insanely talented people. They all have relatively small amounts of screen time but you won’t realize that unless you think about it because their presence is there. There’s Kristen Wiig who’s coupled up with Jon Hamm and then Maya Rudolph is coupled up with fellow Bridesmaids star Chris O’Dowd. These four are all ridiculously good and believable in both the comedic and dramatic scenes. There’s also Megan Fox and Ed Burns as people who Jason & Julie date. Burns is charming and does a terrific job, but Fox basically just plays a hot girl.
Jennifer Westfeldt deserves a ton of credit for this movie. The script is great and it’s really well directed. Doing all that on top of directing it is just incredible. Speaking of the script, the dialogue is really clever and there’s a lot of work put in to make this movie stand out. It would have been easy for this to feel like a typical rom-com or dull indie drama but Friends With Kids is just on another level. It really is one of those movies that shows you what a little bit of actual effort and care looks like instead of just throwing stars and money on the screen.
Also of note is the terrific cinematography.
I highly recommend Friends With Kids to everyone. If you’re around your 30′s you’ll probably get the most out of it, but I think there’s something for most. It’s currently in theaters and you should go see it as soon as possible.