Starring: Jason Sudekis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Mantzoukas, Marc Blucas, Andrea Savage, Katherine Waterston, Margarita Levieva, Adam Brody
Directed By: Leslye Headland
I’m not really sure why this didn’t do better in theatres. It’s a really accessible romantic comedy starring Jason Sudekis (and Alison Brie, who I know isn’t as big of a name, but people recognize her), and has a really recognizable supporting cast. I actually would have expected a wide push for this. Had I been the studio head behind this, it would have gone wide. I really enjoyed it, even though it has a few shortcomings. The whole time I was thinking how it didn’t feel like an indie, but a major studio film. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson totally would have made this 10 years ago.
Sudekis and Brie play two people who went to college together and lost their virginities to each other. Jump ahead 10 years, and they’re both successful, but they’re out of touch. Brie’s Lainey realizes she’s in an awful place, being the mistress to a guy (Scott) who’s engaged to someone else. Sudekis’s Jake sleeps with other people to get out of a relationship, instead of breaking up with them. They run into each other, and even though the chemistry is there, neither one of them wants to screw up the friendship they have. Yes, it’s one of those films. Over the course of the film, even though they’re practically in a relationship, they both find new romantic love interests (Blucas/Peet), and everything seems to be going well.
And then, the director thinks the audience HAS to have Jake and Lainey end up together. I didn’t need that. I was actually really happy with the personal growth that they got from each other, and then applied that in their new relationship. I thought Lainey definitely became a stronger woman, and knew what she wanted after spending time with Jake, and Blucas’s single dad character seemed perfect for her teacher character. And Jake learned to be honest with his new companion, and not screw around. I honestly was 100% fine with them being with other people. That’s actually the title of the film, Sleeping With Other People. Yes, sometimes guys get friend zoned, but that wasn’t really what was happening here. A much bolder decision would have been for them to end up with other people.
And, Natasha Lyonne seemed to disappear in the film, despite being Lainey’s best friend. She’s utilized in the first half, but we never see her again at a certain point. Even though the films ending definitely warrants a callback to Lyonne’s character, which actually could have even added another laugh to the finale.
But, Sleeping With Other People is still a really strong romantic comedy that relies a lot on the natural charisma of its leads. Both Sudekis and Brie shine here, and have really good chemistry opposite each other. They could have been the new McConaughey/Hudson, but the mass audiences will never know. If you’re looking for something to watch at home with your date, this is definitely a great film to pick.
I wish this film had been given more of a chance.
FINAL GRADE: B+