WHEN best friends, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), despair at finding ‘the one’ before their biological clock runs out, they decide to have a baby together and raise it as platonic co-parents.

Friends with Kids

Cert 15

4/5 stars

WHEN best friends, Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), despair at finding 'the one' before their biological clock runs out, they decide to have a baby together and raise it as platonic co-parents.

Their smug, settled friends (Kristen Wiig, Chris O'Dowd and Maya Rudolph of Bridesmaids fame and John Hamm of Mad Men) despair at Jason and Julie's plan, who intend to continue looking for love while parenting their love-child.

Things go awry however when Jason lands a new, younger woman (Megan Fox, no less) and Julie's feelings for her baby-daddy and new potential life-partner get confused.

Westfeldt is a different and new kind of romantic leading woman, bringing depth and experience to a role usually inhabited by air-headed twenty-somethings.

It's also exciting to see renowned funny-women, Wiig and Rudolph, displaying their dramatic talents, and Hamm is similarly surprising in a change of pace from the role that made him famous as the brooding Don Draper in Mad Men.

Westfeldt, Hamm's real-life partner, wrote and directed the film and was lucky enough to use her connections to sign-up most of the cast of runaway smash-hit, Bridesmaids, but she doesn't need to rely on star power to garner acclaim for this dry, witty, direct and heart-warming story.

This is about as real as a romantic comedy script gets, with refreshing grit and truths that are usually omitted from the genre.

The ending runs away from itself, but all in all, this is one of 2012's best cinematic offerings.

Ashley Whittaker