Friends with Kids (Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig) : Movie Review
Is Hollywood clucky? Baby-crazy? Along with the upcoming What to expect when you’re expecting, is Friends with Kids – a Bridesmaids-esque romantic comedy written, directed and starring Jennifer Westfeldt.
The film follows an impressive ensemble cast including Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd and Edward Burns as they go through the ups and downs of becoming parents and all the relationships that change along the way.
Westfeldt and Hamm (partners in real life) financed the film themselves on a budget of less than $10 million and principal shooting took only 4 weeks. That’s basically as Independent as you can get.
So with a Dream Cast and a sassy, talented woman at the helm what could possibly go wrong?
Well, Friends With Kids, along with any recent romantic comedy that comes to mind, inspires that feeling of “Have I seen this before?” The answer is yes, yes you have. It follows that classic formula of boy meets girl, boy and girl don’t know how much they love each other but it’s obvious to everyone else, a minor drama ensues and… well, you’ve probably already guessed the ending.
But it’s not the predictability that disappoints this film, it’s the two leads. Westfeldt is obviously an extremely talented and creative woman but she unfortunately does not have the charm of someone like Kristen Wiig or even Cameron Diaz (who would have been perfect for the role) to pull off the leading lady title. She’s kind of, well, just a bit boring…
While Adam Scott who (despite being a bit strange-looking) could probably charm the pants off anybody but somehow just doesn’t fit right. He is the perfect ‘best friend’ character, the scene-stealing support role, but leading man? I’m not so sure.
In fact, any time he’s on screen all I could think of and hear was the family sing-a-long of Sweet Child O’Mine from Step Brothers. Scott just doesn’t have that je ne sais quois that a leading man simply must have.
However a standout in the cast is Chris O’Dowd as the agreeable, loving husband to Maya Rudolph who could easily put you in to a fit of giggles with an understated line or nod of the head.
There should be great admiration for Westfeldt for clearly working her arse off on this movie – directing, writing, producing and starring in a full feature-length film can’t be that easy. Expect to see her name a lot more in the future, most likely in the writing department where she excels in snappy, witty dialogue.
In fact there are some really funny moments in Friends With Kids and always within the group conversations of the ensemble cast. Their easy-flowing conversations give the impression that a lot of it was ad-libbed by the talented ensemble, who are clearly friends from way-back-when.
But overall Friends With Kids, despite its ridiculously gifted cast, is ultimately just another forgettable rom-com to add to your date night list.