- Plot Creativity
- Character Development
The basic premise of Friends with Kids?Two best friends Jason (Scott) and Julie (Westfeldt) decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship strictly platonic. The two are also friends with several couples who soon decide to have families of their own. But when the other couples who are married start having children, they seem to lose spark and romance in their relationship. Jason and Julie quickly realize the typical married with kids life is not for them. While they both want kids, the young married couples of today are more likely to get divorced than not, and in order to avoid all that trouble, the two decide to throw out the notion of marriage altogether. Julie realizes that as a woman, she only has a limited time to produce offspring and, with no potential soul mate in sight, finds solace in her life-long best friend Jason, who shares the same ideals.
The two decide to sleep together in order to procure the baby, although they both verbally admit they are not sexually interested in one another. Despite what they consider to be a full-proof and modern alternative to typical relationships, things begin to get tricky when, as their son grows older, the two begin to date other people. While at first Jason and Julie believed to have solved some of the problems of typical marriage, they soon realize that maybe they haven’t figured it all out.
Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd and Lots of Beards
The only saving grace this film had was some pretty great acting on behalf of the supporting male roles. Best known for his role on Mad Men, Jon Hamm was commanding on screen and not just for his lucious beard. In one scene, his character Ben drunkenly gives a speech to Jason, scolding him for his unusual relationship with Julie. Hamm’s monologue was one of many throughout the film, but was one of the only that really stuck with me. Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd sports an American accent and a delicious beard as well. He portrays Maya Rudolph’s quirky, charming, and perhaps overly honest husband. O’Dowd provides some needed comic relief and it’s his genuine attitude that helps pull some of the ridiculousness of the film back to reality.
Pretty Much Everything Else
Seen it. The premise of the whole movie, that ‘friends with benefits’ kind of thing, it’s been done. While there were a few twists, they were really only obstacles deterring from the predictable inevitability. From the very beginning, it was obvious that Jason and Julie were going to end up together, and in the end, they do. Essentially, the story was dated and lacked innovation.
It kept going, and going, and going. Seriously, I thought this movie was going to end at least three different times and after a while, I was sort of hoping it would. The film was full of monologues followed by long silent moments between characters. It took time, a lot of time. The plot got stagnant really quick and it was easy to stop caring about the well being of the characters because they were so dry (usually, I try to be invested in the characters). I understand that part of a relationship are the silent moments where nothing needs to be said, but when you’re in a time crunch like a feature film, you need to make some decisions.
3. Time Distortion
Wait what? Sometimes the film would fast forward significant amounts of time and denote it with things like “four years later”, but sometimes, it didn’t. In fact, Julie’s entire pregnancy was in the blink of an eye. Obviously some parts are more important than others, but the film bordered on confusing with different lengths of time protruding directly into others.
Overall Score: 1 Star Out of 5
Buy It, Rent It, or Skip It?
There’s no need to ever see this movie. At very best, there are a few laughs and charming moments, but nothing you can’t find in just about any romantic comedy. Many of the characters are also featured in the hit comedy Bridesmaids, but their success is not continued here. For 100 minutes of running time, I expected to walk away with some sort of satisfaction but really, I didn’t feel anything.
‘Friends with Kids’ Movie Trailer: