FRIENDS WITH KIDS (2012)

(HBO MAX/VOD)? I recently rewatched WHEN HARRY MET SALLY with my wife and remarked about how modern rom-coms simply don’t talk about sex. If they do, it’s often bawdy and meant for laughs as opposed to sincerity.

FRIENDS WITH KIDS is very much in the WHEN HARRY MET SALLY mould, as it’s about two friends who platonically love each other: Jason Fryman (Adam Scott, toeing the line between asshole and sweet guy) and Julie Keller (Jennifer Westfeldt, who wrote/directed it, but — based on your age — is probably best known as Pauline on YOUNGER or for appearing in and co-writing the cult classic KISSING JESSICA STEIN*). Neither of them are getting any younger and both want a child, but they’ve seen their friends who have had children flounder in their marriages. Consequently, they decide to have a child and ‘split the cost down the middle’ and pursue separate relationships. They assume it’ll be a win/win.

Despite FRIENDS WITH KIDS being rather overstuffed with abrasive personas — it’s brilliantly cast with folks like: Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Chris O’Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Megan Fox, -and- Kelly Bishop — I ultimately found it winsome solely on the merits of Scott and Westfeldt. Your mileage may vary, of course, as it’s extremely heteronormative, and definitely an affluent white person film, but under all of that is a refreshingly adult take on friendship and romance.

Oh, and it’s rather audacious when it comes to letting time lapse, as it effortlessly hopscotches across months, even years, to cut to the quick regarding how these friends’ relationships change.

It stumbles a bit crossing the finish line, but in a world that’s succumbed to mostly-forgettable Hallmark or Netflix romantic fare — nothing wrong with ‘em, I enjoy those breezy trifles from time to time! — it’s a substantial examination of relationships.

  • See https://www.autostraddle.com/kissing-jessica-stein-is-a-classic-of-queer-jewish-anxiety/ and http://gomag.com/article/millennial-queer-girl-reviews-kissing-jessica-stein/