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The Daily Tar Heel

Movie Review: Friends with Kids

On first glance, “Friends with Kids” seems like it takes the formula of unemotional sex buddies and interchanges the sex with raising a child.

While in some ways it follows this trajectory, the movie’s dialogue is witty and its story is fast-moving enough to give a fully flushed-out view of a relationship.

The film follows best friends Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) as they fulfill their parenting instincts and have a baby. The film takes an intriguing look at the institution of marriage and its role in child-rearing as Jason and Julie watch their friends’ romantic lives fall to the wayside in the name of parenthood.

The pace of these relationships is quick as the movie moves from different phases of the main characters’ lives as they gradually move toward family life.

The movie is loaded with comedic potential, with stars of “Bridesmaids” Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd. Unfortunately, these characters are mostly in the periphery, modestly interjecting quips from time to time.

Wiig mostly frowns and sips wine, presenting not much more than a marketing tool for the movie.

Adam Scott’s dialogue is strong when the movie focuses on his quirks, like his aversion to women who overpronunciate the names of French wines.

However, the protagonist is comically uneven, alternating between affable nerd and perverted big-breast aficionado who calls his female friends “doll.” The movie remained uncommitted to the raunchy and the sweet.

“Friends with Kids” is better than the typical romantic comedy set amidst good-looking wine-crazed white friends in Manhattan.

It’s disappointing that the film never takes advantage of the comedic potential at its disposal. Instead, it chooses to focus on a will-they-won’t-they storyline that confines the film to mediocrity.

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