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|Sleeping With Other People|
dir-scr Leslye Headland
prd Sidney Kimmel, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum
with Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrea Savage, Natasha Lyonne, Katherine Waterston, Marc Blucas, Margarita Levieva, Billy Eichner, Adam Brody
release US 11.Sep.15, UK 1.Jan.16
Life of the party: Sudeikis and Brie
SUNDANCE FILM FEST
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Funny and edgy, this comedy has an intriguingly dark undercurrent, adding unexpected textures to the film's otherwise jaunty tone. It's nicely played and packed with astute observations, and it remains involving even as the demands of the plot take over, stealing focus from the characters' involving journeys.
At university 13 years ago, Jake and Lainey (Sudeikis and Brie) had an encounter that resulted in both of them losing their virginity. But they lost touch, living promiscuous lives that avoided any hint of monogamy. When run into each other in New York, they decide to just be friends and help each other learn to love someone properly. This means that Lainey needs to split from her married doctor lover (Scott), and Jake needs to think before leaping into bed with the sexy woman (Peet) who has just bought his business.
The characters are all smart, lively and perhaps a bit too gorgeous to be real, except of course comically scruffy side characters like Jake's business partner Xander (Mantzoukas) and Lainey's hot mess pal Kara (Lyonne). The script adds all kinds of wrinkles to the characters, which the cast plays perfectly, finding charming angles to these deeply flawed people. Most intriguing is the realistic sense that they can't help the way they feel about each other.
This of course means that the film is packed with snappy dialog, expertly delivered by Sudeikis and Brie. When Lainey whines about her life, an ex (Brody) says, "You're not an addict, you're just a whore." Jake feels like it's easier to break up if they think you're a jerk. "I never slept with someone I wasn't willing to lose," he says, even as he begins to find himself falling for someone who will probably leave him. And writer-director Headland touches on some intriguing truths as Lainey and Jake express their feelings toward each other by getting into yet another relationship.
Indeed, the script is packed with astute observations about the interaction between men and women, from friendship to romance to sex. The relationship between Lainey and Jake is never as simplistic as it is in most movies so, even if the ending is fairly predictable, the journey to get there there is never obvious. Although in the end it's difficult not to think that perhaps part of the problem is that these people have a lot of sex, but are never naked.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2015 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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