Friends with Kids appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Overall, this was a positive image.
Only a smidgen of softness ever interfered with the presentation. I noticed a few slightly ill-defined shots, but most of the movie displayed solid clarity and delineation. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also stayed away from this clean image.
In terms of palette, Kids went with a golden tint typical of this sort of romantic comedy. Overall, the hues were fine and full. Blacks showed good depth, while low-light shots boasted nice clarity. Though I thought the image was a little below “A”-level standards, it still was more than satisfying.
Don’t expect much more than a standard romantic comedy mix from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, though a few minor exceptions occurred. Skiing and street scenes gave us decent sense of place, but that was about it. The audio tended to be pretty restrained, so we didn’t get a lot of involvement and activity. This was fine for a movie of this sort, however, so the low-key soundfield wasn’t a detriment.
Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. Speech showed nice clarity and naturalism, and music was reasonably distinctive and dynamic. Effects lacked much to stand out, but they appeared accurate, and they showed mild punch when necessary. All of this seemed good enough for a “B-“.
As we shift to supplements, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt, director of photography William Rexer and actor Jon Hamm. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, budgetary restrictions, cast and performances, camerawork, editing, and some other filmmaking subjects.
Expect a pretty good discussion here, as the chat covers a nice variety of appropriate subjects in a lively way. Granted, it comes with more happy talk than I’d like, and Hamm’s TV announced “next time you’re in New York…” gag gets old quickly. Nonetheless, we learn quite a lot here, so this becomes a useful chat.
Making Friends with Kids provides an eight-minute, 10-second featurette with notes from Westfeldt, Hamm, and actors Adam Scott, Chris O’Dowd, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Edward Burns, and Megan Fox. The show examines story and characters, cast and performances, Westfeldt’s work as director, and the movie’s tone. Though we get a few funny comments from the actors, this is mostly superficial promotional fluff.
Under Ad-Libs and Bloopers, we get two reels: “Fun with Actors” (7:28) and “Fun with Kids” (4:27). The former gives us some bloopers but mostly consists of improv moments from the adults; it’s an entertaining compilation. “Kids” takes the more Art Linkletter approach, as it concentrates on goofiness from the child actors. I’m not fond of that kind of material.
Next comes the five-minute, six-second Scene 42: Anatomy of a Gag. This shows the sequence in which Jason and Julie tell Alex and Leslie about their decision. It shows the final version compared to the script as well as outtakes. It’s nothing special – especially since we got so much of this material from “Ad-Libs” – but it’s reasonably enjoyable. We can also watch “Anatomy” with commentary from Westfeldt, Hamm and Rexer. They give us a few decent remarks.
MJ Rocks at Video Games goes for three minutes, 49 seconds and provides more outtakes. These aren't as funny as “Scene 42”, but Megan Fox is better looking than any of the others, so her presence compensates. More commentary from Westfeldt, Hamm and Rexer finishes the piece with additional thoughts about the scene.
Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 17 seconds. Most of these act as extensions, so don’t expect much with no connection to sequences in the final flick. Nonetheless, the various clips are usually pretty good. It was pretty appropriate to cut them – the final flick already runs a bit long – but on their own, they entertain.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Westfeldt, Hamm and Rexer. They give us some production notes about the sequences as well as why the clips got the boot. The commentary offers useful info about the deleted scenes.
The disc opens with ads for One for the Money, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Casa de mi Padre, The Switch and Girl in Progress. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well, but we don’t get the trailer for Kids.
While it never manages to become anything truly special, Friends with Kids has enough going for it to become satisfying. It delivers a quirky look at relationships that comes with reasonable wit and charm. The Blu-ray provides very good picture, adequate audio and a fairly positive package of bonus materials. This winds up as a quality Blu-ray for an interesting movie.