“Sleeping with Other People” (2015)
We first meet Lainey (Alison Brie) in a college dorm, drunk. She is very loudly and unsuccessfully trying to get into the room of a fellow student that she has a crush on. Apparently, either the guy is ignoring her, or he’s just not there. Lainey is making so much noise that the Dorm Monitor is about to kick her out. Jake (Jason Sudeikis) lives down the hall and immediately sizes up the situation, seeing that this pretty girl needs rescuing. He takes her back to his room, and they instantly hit it off, falling into a flow of kidding each other about their lack of dates on a Saturday night. After a bit of bantering and bad advice from Jake, they decide to head up to the roof to smoke a joint. They soon discover that they both are late bloomers, virgins. Very quickly they decide to change that, right there on the roof.
We cut to present day, and an older but not wiser Jake is chasing down his girlfriend of a few months in the streets of New York. She has just caught him having sex with her best friend. Jake tries to play it off that they did not commit to each other. Jake tries to sweet talk his girlfriend, who eventually tires of Jake’s excuses and pushes him into an oncoming cab. Later, Jake goes to a “Sex Addicts Anonymous” meeting and runs into Lainey, who is also attending the meeting. They decide to stay in touch and after one date, they decide that their friendship is too important to mess up, they will not sleep with each other. Can this friendship between two messed up people really work or is it doomed like all their other relationships?
This is the start of writer/director Leslye Headland’s very charming and funny film about two unlikely friends. “Sleeping with Other People” is an unconventional “rom-com” that breaks some of the traditional rules of the genre. Both lead characters not exactly likable. Jake is a womanizer who can’t commit to any relationship, choosing to break up with his partners by sleeping with other women. Lainey obsesses about one man, who not only won’t commit to her, he won’t acknowledge her existence in public. Both characters are selfish and use humor to escape from really talking about their feelings. Headland has an ear for dialogue and for creating fully fleshed-out characters. The banter between Lainey and Jake is hilarious as they cover a number of topics, like the proper way for a woman to masturbate and how the best breakup should be quick, the faster, the better.
The two leads of Sudeikis and Brie are brilliant together. They play off each other like a stand-up comedy team. This is the best performance that I have seen Sudeikis do in years. He is quick to the draw with a quip and makes you root for a guy whom you should loathe. He gives a character a lovable vibe that just comes off in waves on the screen. The chemistry between him and Brie is outstanding, and there seems to be a real connection between the two. Brie gives a masterful, comedic performance of a girl who is obsessed with a man who will never truly fulfill her. She makes Lainey relatable even though we don’t understand why her character is so messed up. The supporting cast is strong, with Amanda Peet playing Jake’s boss, a woman that he is constantly trying to seduce, without much effect. Peet makes her hard-driven, but we sense that there might just be a nice person inside that hard exterior. I liked the chemistry between Jordan Carlos and Margarita Levieva, who play a married couple that are good friends with Jake. Their constant ribbing between the two is fun and very funny. Filling out the cast, Adam Scott makes an excellent bad guy.
I loved this film and especially enjoyed the unconventional ending. This is a “rom-com” for today’s app dating, “swipe right” world. “Sleeping with Other People” is funny and touching, filled with characters you might not want to date, but would like to spend some time getting to know them over a beer or two. My Rating: Full Price
My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again
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