Friends With Kids [2012] ★★½

“Friends with Kids” is a strikingly original comedy with serious undertones. Judging from the cast, it may sound like another “Bridesmaids”, while in fact it’s not. Some moviegoers may be disappointed with the lack of “vulgarity”, but I was not. This is a movie that takes its time, as it covers a long time in a constantly changing relationship between two best friends (Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott) who decide to have a baby together and share the responsibility for its parenting, even though they aren’t sexually attracted to one another. The film is sparked by a number of lively supporting performances by a talented cast including Chris O’Dowell, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm (I didn’t mention Megan Fox, but she’s in it as well). First with the good news: the movie makes sharp observations about modern day family values, the pressure of having babies, and parenting. The raw dialogue defines “Friends with Kids” as a film for adults, with the expected complement of sexual references and penis jokes. Every member of the cast gets the chance to leave a mark, especially Westfeldt and the underrated Scott, whose comedic expertise adds greatly to the texture of the picture. Now for the bad news: about two-thirds of the way through, the focus shifts, and we go from exploring this atypical family to a routine romantic comedy, with a predictable outcome. In a way, I guess it was unavoidable, yet disappointing at the same time. But if you drop the final act, “Friends with Kids” is still both entertaining and continually surprising; I suggest you check it out.

Rating: 2.5/4

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