Thanks to Roadshow Films, we had the chance to see Friend with Kids before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film – but as usual – no matter what we say; we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because: There is no better critic than yourself!
Friends with kids is a fantastic dramedy based on six thirty-something BFF’s and their lives in chaotic New York City. It is the directorial debut of Jennifer Westfeldt who also stars in the movie as a single working woman named Julie. Joining her is Adam Scott (Jason) and Bridemaids’ pals Kristen Wiig (Missy), John Hamm (Ben), Maya Rudolph (Leslie) and Chris O’Dowd (Alex).
The story begins as the couples got together for dinner in a chic restaurant and the ultimate best friends Julie and Jason jokes about how kids shouldn’t be allowed in some places, when Missy drops the bomb that she is pregnant. Four years later, the once hot couple (Missy and Ben) now struggles to balance their marriage and parenting, the same as Leslie and Alex with their two toddlers. Jason and Jules are still single and they can’t understand how difficult parenting might be so they decide to have a child without the romantic relationship and share the child-rearing responsibilities “50% of the time” while they are still out there searching for the “perfect person”.
You might think this arrangement is a terrible idea for the friends but they got their BFF’s blessings and encouragement. So after the most awkward one-time sex ever, Julie falls pregnant and Jason takes care of all her needs as they live in the same building and they seem to have it easy with parenting which was a big surprise for everyone. As time go by, Jason finds the girl of his dream – a hot childish dancer named Mary Jane (Megan Fox) while Julie also finds her perfect man – a tall German-like man Kurt, recently divorced (Edward Burns). Yet after a disastrous New Years’ Eve in Vermont, everything changes making the already complicated relationships even more chaotic.
Friend with Kids is a brilliant comedy showing how difficult it can be to manage marriage and children. Best friends Jason and Jules have seen through the years that having kids can crumble their friend’s marriages, make war not love, turn life into a mess, lack of sleep and monotony. The story is quite edgy and fun, dialogues are quick and hilarious with heart-warming moments full of drama and vulnerability.
The great cast and their inter-connection is fantastic. Jason and Julie keeps reminding us of “When Harry Met Sally” as they share so much chemistry from knowing each other so well that just gives you a gut feeling that these two best friends are meant-to-be, especially if they have a kid together
Particularly worth a praise is Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) who is simply amazing. He keeps you interested in the movie 90% of the time, as well as Maya Rudolph and the adorable Chris O’Dowd. Jules is also charming and smart while Kristin Wiig plays wonderfully without being funny (It is quite a change for her to portray a woman whose marriage is falling apart and have to start dating again)
Friend with Kids reflects the importance of friendship and family but it also raises the issue of child-rearing in our modern society where work, love, structured families and beliefs seems to lay down the rules and expectations for everything.
No matter what, if you are up for a mindful, charming and entertaining comedy, then this is definitely your cup of tea.
Friend with Kids opens in Australian cinemas this 7 June, 2012.