Initial release: September 11, 2015 (USA)
Director: Leslye Headland
Running time: 1h 41m
Producers: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum, Sidney Kimmel
Music composed by: Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau
Staring: Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Scott, Adam Brody Amanda Peet, Natasha Lyonne
Rom-coms are difficult to do well. I mean, its easy to create a good rom-com but its difficult to create a great movie that happens to be a rom-com. I would like to say Sleeping With Other People is different, but unfortunately I cant. However, it is one of the better rom-coms I've seen. Written and directed by Leslye Headland, Sleeping With Other People catches up with Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) twelve years after they lose their virginity to each other on the roof of their dorm halls at Columbia University. After Lainey and Jake bump into each other at a sex addiction counselling session they begin to rekindle their friendship, albeit platonically, so they can use each other as the crutch they need to deal with life and love simultaneously.
This movie is both funny- I laughed out loud on numerous occasion- and touching. Its not often you find a rom-com that is genuinely funny but Jason Sudeikis does a fantastic job at delivering Headland's wonderfully crafted dialogue. There are some scenes of pure joy and utter hilarity but the real emotion in this movie comes from the humanity of the characters. On screen we see two troubled adults who are nothing more that the product of their past, a product of their experiences, but rather than see them just stubbornly accept who they are we see them confront these experiences head on. This is the story about two people coming together to help each other when no one else can, or will, and it is handled with the tender hand it deserves.
My issue with this movie you ask? It is too predictable, and a little too well polished. For a movie about rough around the edge characters, characters that feel so human, I would really wish it wasn't so obvious that you were watching a movie. Other movies do a fantastic job of breaking down the barrier between screen and viewer taking you with them on their journey. This is what the movie lacks. It needs something to make it feel less... "hollywood-esque" (which is surprising given it is an indie flick) it needs more grit and less polish. While Headland did a good job writing the dialogue, she shied away from making this movie feel the way it really should, and that is independent. In an attempt to appeal to the masses she has over-polished the look of the film and was too rigid in the direction the characters would go. This also ties in with the predictability aspect of my thoughts. Although when you have a will-they-wont-they scenario it can only go two ways, and therefore its incredibly difficult to pull off a scenario that doesn't feel clichéd but maybe a more experienced director could have seen where this should have gone. I feel like I'm being a little to critical, I did thoroughly enjoy this movie. As I said it is genuinely funny, the dialogue is witty and the characters are well written and you know what...? Even if you know the outcome, it's doesnt matter too much because at the end of the day, just like life, it's not about where we end up, it's about how we get there. I look forward to seeing what Headland writes in the future.