Awkward Pillow Talk: A Review of ‘Sleeping With Other People’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - October 16, 2015
Awkward Pillow Talk: A Review of ‘Sleeping With Other People’

You know that sad feeling when you really wanted to like something but…you know it just never pans out.  In Sleeping With Other People that actually got captured on screen as everyone involved with this should make for a home run but in a movie where everyone is fairly miscast with weak material, the natural charisma and charm of the leads will only take you so far as it is never quite sure if it wants to be a cute romantic comedy or a moody look at love in the big city.

Can there be any second chances at love?  After a one night stand where they both lost their virginity to one another, Lainey (Alison Brie) & Jake (Jason Sudekis) run into each other by pure chance now twelve years later and discover that they share a very unique problem.  They are both monogamy challenged and find it hard to maintain an actual healthy relationship.  Despite a mutual attraction they are both determined to stay friends but the more they get involved with each other’s lives the harder it gets to stick to their pact.

You’ve heard this formula before, but Sleeping With Other People really manages to miss the mark thanks to some flimsy material and underdeveloped characters that doesn’t even allow this to feel banal in spite of the natural charm from its leads.

Writer/Director Leslye Headland is staying in a certain wheelhouse at this stage in her career as this is the follow up to the not entirely unpleasant Bachelorette but it never gets off the launching pad.  It’s a cute enough narrative that goes at a healthy pace but as it tries to add these almost darkly sexual moments, particularly for Brie’s character it veers away from comedy into fifty shades of dysfunctional dark moments that feel out of place.  There is sadly a lot of miscasting and under used characters throughout the story and while both Brie and Sudekis have good chemistry together, the material lets them down.

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Jason Sudekis is unquestionably a funny guy as his dead pan charm works in this, but he’s hit the big 40 and the days of him playing late twenties, early 30’s is pretty well over.  While Alison Brie who is seven years younger than him is in the right bracket it never feels organic even though they are very funny together.  Sadly nothing else after them even feels remotely enjoyable as Adam Scott gets uncomfortably creepy while Natasha Lyonne plays the token lesbian and Amanda Peet is almost playing it straight through the entire film and it feels like a waste.

You can’t help but get sucked into the natural charms of both Sudekis and Brie, but nothing about Sleeping With Other People ever feels honest and tries to be too gaggy or situational to resonate on any emotional level.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.