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Review: Sleeping With Other People (Sundance 2015)

Sleeping With Other People (Sundance 2015)
01.27.2015
6 10

PLOT: A promiscuous man (Jason Sudeikis) and woman (Alison Brie) meet in a sex addiction meeting and embark on a platonic friendship, constantly fighting the temptation to sleep with each other lest it ruin the relationship.

REVIEW: One of the pitfalls of showing your movie at Sundance is that playing smack dab in the middle of such a competitive festival, it's easy for a movie like SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE to get lost in the shuffle. In fact, I put off writing my review for days as it simply didn't inspire any strong feelings in me. I didn't particularly like or hate it, but if I had seen it outside the festival I probably would have appreciated it a whole lot more.

Certainly there are things to appreciate here. We're living through the nadir of the romantic comedy and in an effort to reclaim some kind of respectability for the genre, writer/director Leslye Headland (BACHELORETTE) has taken a page eighties films like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. Too much of a page actually, as at times this comes perilously close to being a clone. Like that film, our main couple here meets in college, has a brief encounter, and then re-enter each others lives further down the road, after they've both been put through the ringer romantically.

Sudeikis and Brie are a fresh-faced couple. Sudeikis is doing his regular thing, in that he's playing a silver-tongued, can't miss ladies man (I don't get it) who has the good fortune in inspiring nothing but lust in every woman he meets (again, I don't get it). Sudeikis has his shtick and he's fine, even if he's always struck me as a kind of less-cool version of Chevy Chase. He needs to try something a little different, and he's actually quite effective in some of the more dramatic scenes here, suggesting he has more of a range than you'd think.

As for Alison Brie, well obviously she's a delight. She's so likable, but her character isn't quite convincing, especially in a subplot where her yearning for her on-again/off-again boyfriend come close to driving her insane, especially with Adam Scott (in a totally straight-laced part) playing him as a near sociopath. Still, she makes it mostly work, and also looks drop-dead gorgeous throughout (showing a surprising amount of skin – which did not go unappreciated).

Clearly, Headland was trying to mix things up a bit, but a bizarre lapse into drama towards the end of the film is jarring, as it briefly becomes incredibly serious – although credit is due for the fact that it shows a spur of the moment decision can have lasting effects that often ignored in mainstream stuff.

In the end, I appreciated SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE more than I actually enjoyed it, although maybe had I caught it outside of a film festival atmosphere (by the point I'd seen it I'd already seen a dozen films) it probably would have gone down a lot easier. It's an OK film, but not good enough to really stand out.

Source: JoBlo.com

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