In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “The cast is fantastic, despite the by the numbers, predictable, and not nearly as refreshing as it thinks it is, screenplay.”
“First of all, you are not the Mark Zuckerberg of vaginas.”
There’s a real crashing together of indie and mainstream movies at the moment. Ensemble movies, made for little money, with casts that favor affability over traditional stardom, telling traditional stories, dressed up to appear edgy, cool and alternative. I’ve watched a few of these movies and tend to like them. But I also find myself getting a little frustrated with how impressed they seem to be with themselves on some level. Almost like they have reinvented the wheel by taking a standard romantic comedy structure, but giving it fuck-you, modern perspective. While in the end, they’re just standard romantic comedies. And if this incoherent, rambling introduction doesn’t explain this phenomenon, just watch Sleeping With Other People, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Back in 2002, college student Lainey (Alison Brie) is determined to lose her vicinity to a fellow student. When he’s not in his room, she ends up sleeping with dorm neighbor Jake (Jason Sudeikis). A dozen or so years later, Jake is bouncing from one casual fling to another, while Lainey breaks up with her sensible boyfriend by confessing to a long affair. The two meet at a love addiction support group, Jake forced to go by his current girlfriend, Lainey recommended to go by her therapist.
The sexual tension between the two is immediate and undeniable, but they agree that liking each other so much is exactly reason why they shouldn’t be involved romantically. Sex will only ruin things, like it always does. Deciding to help each other live healthy, adult lives, and pursue healthy, adult relationships with other people, it’s obvious that their attraction only grows the more they avoid indulging in it.
Sleeping With Other People is a companion piece to movies I’ve written about before, like Drinking Buddies, Laggies and Life Partners. All of them are basic rom coms, but they all get their indie cred via characters who openly talk about sex in a way that I assume is a supposed to be frank and honest, but always comes off as over written and button pushing.
But here’s the thing, I liked Laggies, Life Partners and Drinking Buddies. I also really enjoyed Sleeping With Other People. Brie and Sudeikis are immensely charming, funny and watchable. And the supporting cast, filled out by Jason Mantjzoukis, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne and Amanda Peet are all charming, funny and watchable too. They’re all fantastic, despite the by the numbers, predictable, and not nearly as refreshing as it thinks it is, screenplay.