Friday, September 18, 2015

Sleeping With Other People



This review originally appeared on SFist.com.

When does an homage/tribute turn into a copy? Granted, Sleeping With Other People isn't hiding the fact that it owes much to When Harry Met Sally, but I was amazed by just how much.

Jason Sudekis and Allison Brie star as college students who lose their virginity to each other during a one night stand, go their separate ways, and then meet again years later in New York. Brie's Lainey is a grade school teacher with a serious love addiction to an unavailable man (played Adam Scott). Sudekis's Jake is a self-professed womanizer who just sold an app or something for a ton of cash. After they re-meet they decide any kind of romantic involvement with each other would be bad for both of them, but they still end up spending all their free time together platonically, shopping for Christmas presents, walking through the park, going to parties, and running into exes. The only thing missing is a soundtrack full of old standards. (Instead we get some forgettable modern tunes and one David Bowie classic.)

What Sleeping With Other People has that When Harry Met Sally doesn't have is the sleeping with people part. There's a lot of sex in this movie, and a lot of talk about sex. Where Harry and Sally have a fake orgasm moment in a deli, we instead get Jake explaining female masturbation to Lainey, who has apparently never done it (!?). First, please. And second, let me just say that the way he demonstrates how to do it? Makes no sense since he's showing her from an angle that only another person, not a solo wanker, would be able to use. I'll just leave it at that.

Allison Brie, who deserves to make the break from TV (Community; Mad Men) to big screen stardom is lovely, funny, and sad in the role of Lainey. She's probably the best thing about the movie. And while I know I should like Jason Sudekis — he's also funny and is a fine actor — there's still something about him that continues to rub me the wrong way.

Sleeping With Other People isn't terrible, it's just unnecessary. Which, come to think of it, probably often applies in real life as well.

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