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Friends with Kids


Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Megan Fox, Edward Burns

Director: Jennifer Westfeldt

Good taste is patently absent from this disgracefully funny comedy-romance from the school of Apatow, a resemblance potentiated by the casting of Bridesmaids alumni Wiig, O’Dowd and Rudolph in key roles, in star/director/screenwriter Westfeldt’s cynical study of adult relationships comically (and tragically) catalysed into chaos by having children.

Friends Westfeldt and fellow thirtysomething Scott agree to have a child with no emotional strings attached. Four years later, mission accomplished. Westfeld and their son live together and she is romancing Burns while Scott carries on regardless with Fox.

However, the lives of their married best friends Wiig and Hamm and O’Dowd and Rudolph have definitely strayed far from the American dream and have collapsed as the result of the continuing pressures of parenthood. So what will happen to Westfeldt and Scott?

The answer is obvious and comes true with Scott delivering one of the crudest (and, I regret to say, funniest) chat-up lines I’ve heard in a long time. Fortunately all concerned on both sides of the camera make getting to the expected happy ending an entertaining comic journey.

Westfeldt’s direction sensibly showcases the actors, all of whom make the most of their opportunities (I rather wish, however, that Wiig’s character allowed her more opportunities). Scott does what’s required of him, as do O’Dowd and Rudolph, while Hamm (Westfeldt’s off-screen partner) shows he can do more than is required of him in his seminal ‘Mad Men’ role; even Burns manages to be less boring than usual.

This romcom may not be art, as we know it, Jim, but it is good, dirty fun.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 28 Jun 2012