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Review Round-Up: 'Friends with Kids' Has Moments of Sharp Humor, Heartfelt Romance (Video)

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood March 9, 2012 at 5:03PM

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.
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Friends with Kids

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. 

Thompson on Hollywood

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.

Carrie Rickey

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.

Rafer Guzman, Newsday

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.
 


Clip via Coming Soon.


 

This article is related to: Reviews, Reviews, Video, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.