Friends with Kids (Blu-ray)

July 12, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

While most friends are quite close, this group is closer than most, even sharing the same apartment building. As friends sometimes do, they tend to compare lives with each other. This is normally harmless, but when Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O’Dowd) announce they’re expecting a child, it sends ripples through the others’ lives. The most impact lands on Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), the only ones in the group who aren’t an official couple. And while neither wants to get married or even get serious, they decide time is ticking and they should have a child together. After all, they can see the kind of happiness a child can bring in their friends’ lives. So they agree to have a child, split all the responsibilities, and be free to continue their lives in mostly separate ways. Once the child has been born, the two live up their word and start to date others, but will they discover their plan might not go as smoothly as they hoped?

This movie has a lot of talent involved, with a cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, Megan Fox, Edward Burns, and more. So as far as ensemble comedies go, Friends with Kids boasts a remarkable roster, but does the film make the most of the group? I went into the movie hoping for a Bridesmaids style experience but instead, I found a rather sappy, traditional romantic comedy. The plot is predictable, to the point that you know how it ends as soon as the story starts, but the premise is weak, even for a romantic comedy. The film treats parenthood as a casual joke and really stretches when it comes to how the new love interests react to the situation. There is some good dialogue and solid laughs at times, but with such a dynamic cast, I expected much more. Even so, Friends with Kids has a lot of things that work and the cast elevates the material at times, so it is well worth a rental.

Video: How does it look?

Friends with Kids is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This movie might not be a powerhouse of visual design, but it looks excellent in this treatment. The image shows remarkable depth, which in turn yields razor sharp detail that allows even the most minor visual element to spring to life. I found colors to be bright and natural, while contrast is even and ensures no detail is washed out or lost in muddy shadows. In the end, this is justĀ  sparkling, impressive visual effort.

Audio: How does it sound?

This movie’s sound design is centered on dialogue, so this DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack isn’t an explosive one. The music is able to liven up the surrounds at times, which is nice, but the rest of the audio is reserved in most scenes. The soundtrack is still clear and well presented though, there just isn’t much to talk about. The vocals are crystal clear, with no harshness, distortion, or volume issues to contend with. This disc also includes English and Spanish subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes audio comments from the director/star Jennifer Westfeldt, star Jon Hamm, and director of photography William Rexer. The track is laid back and tends to slant toward anecdotes, but Rexer add some nice technical information at times as well. This disc also includes a reel of outtakes, some deleted scenes, a scene analysis, and a couple of behind the scenes promotional featurettes.

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