The real little horrors in Friends With Kids are the self-centered and immature grown-ups


The real little horrors in Friends With Kids are the self-centered and immature grown-ups

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 29 June 2012

FRIENDS WITH KIDS (15)

Verdict: Alienating sitcom

This is a glib sitcom stretched out to feature length, a romcom that its writer, director and star Jennifer Westfeldt means to be cutting-edge and cute.

Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as original or likeable as she thinks. It’s conventional, dull and unconsciously nasty.

Take the opening. Our late-thirtysomething heroine (Westfeldt) rings her best male friend (Adam Scott) at 5am to share her latest moment of angst.

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Child trouble: The IT Crowd star Chris O'Dowd returns to the big screen in Friends With Kids

Child trouble: The IT Crowd star Chris O'Dowd returns to the big screen in Friends With Kids

He’s with a girlfriend but tells our
heroine their friendship means more to him than casual sex with the
woman in his bed.

I’m sure we’re meant to find this a sweet introduction
to the leading characters, but it will leave most morally sentient
people with question marks hovering above their heads.

Isn’t our heroine
being selfish ringing a man up about her problems when he’s bound to be
asleep Isn’t it grossly insensitive of him to insult the woman who’s
sharing his bed

But no. We’re meant to find the two
protagonists sparky and intelligent, like Woody Allen characters —
except they have fashionably foul mouths.

Comedy cast: The Bridesmaids cast Chris O'Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm are back together on screen in the new film Friends With Kids

Comedy cast: The Bridesmaids cast Chris O'Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm are back together on screen in the new film Friends With Kids

The plot develops in a way that will
be familiar to anyone who’s witnessed such ultra-formulaic Hollywood
romcoms as Life As We Know It and No Strings Attached.

The two friends decide to have a child
together because her biological clock is ticking, and he’d like to be a
dad. They don’t want to marry, because they’ve seen what marriage has
done to their chums.

These are the same actors who starred in
Bridesmaids: Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm, and Maya Rudolph and Chris
O’Dowd.

But where Bridesmaids was filthy and
(at times) laugh-out-loud funny, Friends With Kids is filthy and —
despite some clever dialogue — not very funny. And if you can’t predict
how this movie will turn out, you should get out more.

It’s particularly unamusing about
children. They are portrayed as pooing machines and annoying impediments
to sex. The one good thing about them is they’re cute when they smile.

This film is all about friends but
uninterested in kids. The result is that the self-centred, immature
grown-ups here are infinitely more dislikeable than the damaged
characters in the apparently much bleaker Dark Horse.

Now watch the trailer