FRIENDS WITH KIDS

“Julie Keller” (Jennifer Westfeldt) & “Jason Fryman” (Adam Scott) have been friends for years. They live in the same trendy Manhattan condo building, they have well-paying if ill-defined jobs, and they enjoy socializing with the same group of buddies.

But their buddies have now paired off & become parents, leaving Julie & Jason to wonder if they should have a kid too. Perhaps as “friends” they can do a better job of it than their buddies who, though they started as lovers, are now bitching & scratching at each other under the stress of childcare. 

Since I’m a fan of Westfeldt’s two prior films (Kissing Jessica Stein & Ira and Abby), I went in with high hopes, but midway through Friends with Kids, I knew I was destined for disappointment. Absolutely nothing in the Julie/Jason relationship felt real to me. Who are these people? Haven’t a clue!

The buddies are played by Jon Hamm, Chris O’Dowd, Maya Rudolph & Kristen Wiig, all in roles that are so similar to the parts they all played in Bridesmaids that the reshuffle becomes a distraction.

And this time Westfeldt is not only the screenwriter, she’s also the director. Writer/Director/Star? Sometimes it all works brilliantly (as Barbra Streisand proved in Yentl), but this time, alas, not so much.

And don’t bother looking for any of the little Jewish touches that helped make Westfeldt’s earlier films so endearing. Julie Keller could be anyone. Who is she really? Haven’t a clue!

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