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Friends with Kids: Life as we know it 

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FRIENDS WITH KIDS

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DIRECTED BY Jennifer Westfeldt

STARS Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt

The womanizing Jason (Adam Scott) and the unlucky-in-love Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) watch as their two sets of happily married best friends (Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd — it's a veritable Bridesmaids reunion!) become miserable and surly toward one another after they start having kids. Not wanting to fall into that trap, Jason and Julie, who hold no attraction for each other, decide to have a child together while maintaining separate lives in every other regard.

So goes the plotline for Friends with Kids, a scintillating seriocomedy written and directed by leading lady Westfeldt (best known for the 2001 indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein). The first 100 minutes are a viewer's dream: wise, witty, emotional, and elevated by a powerhouse supporting cast (Edward Burns turns up as a potential beau for Julie, and even Megan Fox, as Jason's latest girlfriend, isn't bad). Unfortunately, Westfeldt finally succumbs to the peer pressure of those regularly churning out subpar rom-coms, thus spitting out an ending that's as clumsy as it is predictable.

A repeat viewing might temper my anger toward those final five minutes, but for now, what could have sailed through 2012 as one of its best films will have to settle for prominent placement in the also-ran column.

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