Jennifer Westfeldt’s romantic comedy “Friends with Kids” opens Friday, after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. The film stars Westfeldt, alongside Maya Rudolph, Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, Chris O’Dowd, and Kristen Wiig. We interviewed the actress-writer-director and Jon Hamm here.
Reviews are fairly upbeat, if not enamored with the film, which has earned a modest 65% on Rotten Tomatoes so far. As the new clip posted below proves, the grounded/neurotic characters play well together.
A sharply observed comedy with moments of hilarity and heartfelt insight, “Friends with Kids” manages to rise above many romantic-comedy cliches, yet fails to avoid others in its final act.
Elizabeth Greenwood and Raina Lipsitz, The Atlantic
All romantic comedies require a certain suspension of disbelief, and Friends with Kids is no exception… But we’re happy to play dumb, in part because this movie achieves that holy grail of modern comedy and box office success: It’s something both men and women can enjoy.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
Though she gets points for multitasking, Westfeldt’s strongest suit seems to be directing. Well-paced and impressively polished, the movie shuttles us through major life moments with easygoing confidence. In contrast, her script — unabashedly influenced by “When Harry Met Sally” — is far too predictable.
David Noh, Film Journal
Most of writer-director Westfeldt’s effects feel studied and forced. She can and does come up with funny lines, but there are also an awful lot of unoriginal, would-be side-splitters here to plough through.
Sex, said Woody Allen, is the most fun you can have without laughing. Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends With Kids may well be the most fun you can have without sex. This is a breakout movie from a gifted writer/actress who, being slim, strawberry-blonde, urban-neurotic and funny, often has been called “a female Woody Allen.”… Do I think Westfeldt is a female Woody Allen? Nope. I think her warm-and-prickly humor — as opposed to the warm-and-fuzzy texture of the typical romantic comedy — is unique to her.
A latecomer to the still-booming genre of comedies about 40-ish adolescents facing adult decisions, “Friends With Kids” tries to fit in by borrowing the cast of “Bridesmaids” and imitating the irreverent vibe of “Knocked Up.” Those films, however, had heart and sensitivity, something sorely lacking in this crass, shallow cash-in.