Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Friends with Kids, dir/scr. Jennifer Westfeldt, st. Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Fox, Edward Burns

The Bridesmaids sequel may not be happening, but Friends With Kids goes some way to soothe as a consolation. Whilst largely shawn of the former's raucous, exuberant energy, this is a more sombre and reflective piece; if Bridesmaids was about the fear and frustration of finding true love in your 30s, Friends With Kids zips forward a decade to when, having found your perfect partner, you find yourself eschewing friends and your own selfish impulses for the sake of bringing up your children. Westfeldt plays Julie, a charitable investment advisor whose sororal relationship with ad man Jason (Scott) prevents her from realising he's anything more than a BFF. The pair jointly decide to conceive a child, believing that going dutch on infant responsibilities will leave them ripe and primed should they meet their dream dates. The film's uncertain first act soon gives way to a richer narrative as Jason and Julie's best friends, couples Ben and Missy (Hamm and Wiig) and Alex and Leslie (O'Dowd and Rudolph), first scoff, then admire, before finally reflecting on the status of their own relationships. The crude language feels overtly gratuitous and the bold territory of the final third is undone by a pat-happy ending, but there's something smart and perceptive here, even if the overall effect leaves you a little underwhelmed.