Last week we got the chance to catch a sneak peek of the new film Friends With Kids, an independent comedy that takes a humorous and sincere look at how having children affects friendships and romance. Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein, Notes From the Underbelly) wrote, produced, directed and starred in this project about the pressures of parenting. A hilarious trailer and a cast of comedic heavy-hitters piqued our interest, but the two hours of laughs proved there was more depth and wit than we expected.
Best friends Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) watch helplessly at the negative effects starting a family has on their close friends’ marriages. Kristen Wiig and John Hamm, and Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd play the on-screen supporting couples, replicating some of the comedy chemistry from last year’s blockbuster Bridesmaids. Julie and Jason, eager for children, try to beat the system by skipping the romance and jumping feet first into parenthood together. The two friends think their plan of having a baby while leaving emotions free to find “the one” is foolproof. After volleying a few ideas, the two decide to take the quick, cheap and fun route. Yep, they do the dirty deed themselves. (In vitro is so 2011.)
Per romantic-comedy 101, everything is perfect at first. They uphold their promise to be “100 percent committed half the time.” Their style of tag-team parenting works well for a while, but as they enter the dating game again, complications arise in the forms of a sultry Megan Fox and a charming Edward Burns. (And explosive diarrhea—oy vey! Parents should be paid better.) Julie and Jason’s balanced life unravels, causing them to question whether they really want to be free to date better-looking people or if they’re just fooling themselves.
The script is fresh and laugh-out-loud funny, while making you reflect on relationship dynamics and what kind of person is worthy of the rest of your life. Although their story probably only works in the world of romantic comedies, the observations Friends With Kids makes about friendship, family and the expectations of love are poignantly true. Oh, and heads up—prepare yourself for the most irreverent declaration of love you’ve ever watched onscreen. That scene is destined for film quote greatness.
Friends With Kids premieres in theatres everywhere today. You can check out a trailer of the film here: