Jennifer Westfeldt’s new movie Friends with Kids could be called Bridesmaids 2 since half of the main cast also had starring roles in last summer’s blockbuster. In addition to the returning actors, the story of Friends with Kids takes the next step after marriage: Where Bridesmaids focuses on the challenge that getting married poses for friendships, Friends with Kids is all about the struggle that comes after marriage once children are born.
The story focuses on a group of friends played by Westfeldt, Adam Scott, John Hamm, Kristen Wiig Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd, whose lives in Manhattan begin to change once married couples Wiig and Hamm, and Rudolph and O’Dowd, decide to have kids. Slowly, their marriages begin to disintegrate as the stress of kids takes its toll.
Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Scott) are both single and horrified at who their friends have become. Both singletons want children and so decide to raise one together while continuing to date other people. In the spirit of true romantic comedies, though this plan starts off well, there are the classic hijinks that cause misunderstandings and it all ends with a kiss.
The predictable ending, however, doesn’t ruin the movie. It’s one of those movies where you really root for the main characters to get together because it’s cutely obvious that they belong together, and yet its writing sets the film apart. Westfeldt’s dialogue is witty and each character embodies a distinct personality – a difficult feat with eight protagonists.
The film did drag on at some points in the middle, though, as some scenes could have been shortened.
Friends with Kids is a predictable romantic comedy, but what makes it stand out is great dialogue and heartfelt performances all around.