Do you remember the 2011 film "Friends with Benefits" with Mila Kunis? That was the the eerily similar film that was similar to Natalie Portman's earlier film "No Strings Attached". Both films involved a couple of friends that decided to have a purely sexual relationship without the problems of an emotional attachment.


Director/actress Jennifer Westfeldt has brought the logical continuation of the unattached couple theme..."Friends With Kids". And, in every sense it could be titled "Friends With Benefits 2: Baby Mama".


Julie (Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) are basically BFFs and neighbors. They have known each other since college and are quiet comfortable with each other. They know each others dating issues - he has a problem with commitment and sleeps around, she makes bad choices in men and gets little sex.

They are friends with two other couples Leslie and Alex (Maya Rudoph and Chris O'Dowd) and Ben and Missy (Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig). Leslie and Alex are already married and star off the baby making process, Missy and Ben are still still having lots of crazy sex as if they were teenagers. Julei and jason get to watch both sets of relationships grow into controllable chaos and intolerable chaos.


Leslie and Alex represent the average family with rambunctious kids, stressed mom and a unstressed dad - but they make it work.


Missy and Ben accidentally have a kid and their marriage becomes a fireball - neither can hack it and both are tried of each other.


After watching their friend Jason and Julie decide they should have a kid without the bothers of a relationship or marriage and forgo the heartache and inevitable divorce. It's a plan that sounds logical and workable.

Of course their friends have doubts but now they get to stand back a see the results and... much to everyone's surprise... it does work. In fact it works quite well. They take turns custody, while the other goes out and lives a singles life.


However things change when they both meet 'ideal' people. Jason meets Mary Jane (Megan Fox) and Julie meets Kurt (Edward Burns) - both of who satisfy the very specific needs. Mary Jane provides Jason with lots of gratuitous sex but eschews children. Kurt likes kids and provides thoughtfulness.


Naturally things become interesting with their friends watching.


Jennifer Westfeldt wrote and directed "Friends With Kids" although her initial intent was to write and act. However, the first two directors were unavailable to perform so the duties fell on her. And, to her credit she technically did a good job.


The cast is outstanding especially Wiig and Rudolph who reunite after 2011s "Bridesmaids". Megan Fox, once again proves she is a lightweight even in her limited role. But the film still feels like a continuation of "Friends With Benefits" which is neither bad nor good.


"Friends With Kids" is a well told story that uses the detached emotion plot fairly well, but is nevertheless similar to "Friends With Benefits". It can only lead to the all-encompassing Friends With Problems!   -- GEOFF BURTON