The Cast of Bridesmaids Reunites for High-Concept Rom-Com

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 17 2012 12:18 PM

Trailer Critic: Friends With Kids

Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm in the trailer forFriends With Kids.

Writing about the Avengers trailer a while back, I mentioned the problem of superhero-movie overcrowding, which tends to afflict sequels—recall Spider-Man 3, for example, with its three villains, or Batman & Robin, with the titular heroes joined by Batgirl, Mr. Freeze, and Poison Ivy.

David Haglund David Haglund

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Perhaps you don’t think of Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, and Adam Scott as superheroes. But for those of us who do, the Friends With Kids trailer is worrying for a similar reason:


When the trailer opens, Rudolph and Scott are at a restaurant with what one assumes are their respective romantic partners—played by Chris O’Dowd and Jennifer Westfeldt—at dinner, talking about a third couple. Then, boom: Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig appear! How exciting. But wait: There’s Ed Burns! And Megan Fox? How many familiar faces are in this movie? Is Garry Marshall involved?

The population density in this trailer would not be troubling if Friends With Kids was a straightforward ensemble comedy. As has been widely noted, the cast is practically borrowed from one of the more successful recent examples of that subgenre: Wiig, Rudolph, Hamm, and O’Dowd were all terrific in Bridesmaids.

But the basic plot of Bridesmaids could hardly have been simpler: A woman struggles with the impending marriage of her best friend. The movie could tell that story and still spread the laughs around among its ample cast.

Friends With Kids, on the other hand, is a high-concept rom-com: Two friends decide to have a kid together without becoming romantically involved. (Think When Harry Met Sally with the degree of difficulty cranked to 11.) Can Westfeldt, who co-wrote and starred in the smart and funny Kissing Jessica Stein back in 2001, and who is here making her directorial debut, pull this off? Maybe. But I’m dialing my (previously soaring) expectations down a notch.




The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 5:19 PM Social Outcasts Republican candidates are retreating from debates on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 5:47 PM California Gov. Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrant for Police Surveillance Drones
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.