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Movie Review: "Sleeping with Other People"

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Sleeping with Other People

Theatrical Release: 9/11/2015

Theatrical Release: 9/11/2015

Synopsis

Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) had a one-night stand while they were in college. They were both virgins before that night, so they will always be each other’s “first time.” They did not get together since then, however, but they would always remember their night together. In the years that followed, both Jake and Lainey would go on to suffer from a self-destructive sex addiction.

Their respective addictions have made it impossible for them to find love and happiness. Jake has become a womanizer, with his addiction ruining many potential relationships in the most uncomfortable way. Lainey has become absolutely obsessed with an ex-boyfriend, and no matter how much time has passed or who she is dating at the time, she always comes crawling back to him. With each realizing their own self-destructive behavior, they go to a support group for their addiction. That is where they reunite for the first time since their one-night stand.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The ProsThe Cons

Jason Sudeikis & Alison Brie (+6pts)

Lainey & Matthew (-4pts)

Love & Addiction (+6pts)

Predictable (-6pts)

Jason Mantzoukas (+2pts)

The Comedy (-4pts)

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Pro: Jason Sudeikis & Alison Brie (+6pts)

I was not expecting much from this movie, but I actually thought Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie worked really well together. I liked the two characters' relationship with one another, and thought that the two actors had pretty decent chemistry, which made their relationship entertaining to watch. For all intents and purposes, this was a predictable movie. I will get into that in more detail later, but the characters were not your typical rom-com characters. They each had their issues, but they worked together. I imagine it was a tough thing to balance, as the audience had to buy both character's inability to be in a functional relationship, but the audience also had to buy that the two characters worked as a potential couple. The characters were written well, but Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, and their chemistry together was what made the two characters work so effectively.

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Con: Lainey & Matthew (-4pts)

I understand that things like love, obsession, and addiction are not always rational, but I did not buy Lainey's obsession with Matthew (Adam Scott). Adam Scott's role was funny at times, but from a plot perspective, I did not buy it. Lainey and Matthew seemed like very different people, and I saw nothing in Matthew to explain Lainey's obsession with him. The movie then relies pretty heavily on Lainey's obsession with this guy, which made the issue more obvious.

The good thing, is that the two characters were not supposed to be a good fit for each other, and I definitely bought that. I just thought, where so much of this story focused on Lainey's obsession with Matthew, the filmmakers could have done a better job of showing what she saw in him. Instead, they depicted him as an obviously manipulative jerk with almost no redeeming qualities. Thus, this storyline did not work for me.

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Pro: Love & Addiction (+6pts)

For the most part, this movie was predictable (again, I will get into that later), but one way that this rom-com was different than most was the way that love and addiction were incorporated into the main characters' respective stories. This movie looks at the fine line that can exist between love and addiction, and the impact that each of these things can have on the other. In this story, it is Jake and Lainey's respective searches for love that lead them each down the path toward addiction. Then, it is their addiction that leads to self-destructive behavior, preventing them from having successful relationships. After failed relationships, they then fall deeper into their addiction and the cycle continues. This made these two characters a lot more interesting to me than the characters in your typical rom-com.

They are more complex than your typical rom-com protagonists, as they are each dealing with their own emotional issues. I liked seeing how love and addiction had become intertwined with one another for each of these characters, and I liked seeing how each character dealt with that. Additionally, I feel like most rom-coms fail to establish why the protagonists should be together. In this movie, they each have their respective fights with addiction (so can relate to one the other's situation), and they each have their respective relationship struggles (which shows how their self-destructive behavior will not work if their significant other does not understand them). The movie was predictable, but I thought the filmmakers effectively established why these two characters should be together, which made it easy to root for them as a potential couple.

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Con: Predictable (-6pts)

Jake and Lainey were more interesting than the protagonists in most rom-coms, but at the end of the day, this movie was still a rom-com. What I mean by this is that the movie goes in the exact direction that you would expect it to. The two characters meet, but are in denial about their feelings for one another. Do they end up together by the end of the movie? I am not going to spoil that for you, but I am sure you have a pretty good guess.

The characters were interesting, but the plot was just very typical. There were no surprises, and it made for a story that you will feel like you have already seen play out countless times before. This ultimately made the movie kind of boring, which is a shame. Again, I liked the characters and what they were dealing with emotionally, but the movie would have been a lot better if the plot around them did anything special. Unfortunately, it felt like the writers wrote a couple of decent characters, then phoned it in for the rest of the script.

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Pro: Jason Mantzoukas (+2pts)

This character did not impact the movie much, so I really do not want to spend too much time commenting on him. Jason Mantzoukas is funny, and he has a pretty entertaining comedic style. He was the typical ridiculous male friend of the male protagonist, and had a number of funny moments and lines. The character played a pretty minor, comedic role, but Jason Mantzoukas was effective in that role.

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Con: The Comedy (-4pts)

This was a rom-com that felt lacking, in terms of the "com". To be honest though, it was not even that this movie was not funny. There were plenty of chuckles, do not get me wrong, but I never full out laughed. There were no memorable comedic moments, or none that even completely hit me. Instead, there were just a number of mildly amusing moments to keep me chuckling here and there throughout the movie. It was a shame, given the comedic talent in this movie, but I unfortunately thought the comedy left a lot to be desired.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: C+ (75pts)

Sleeping with Other People was, more or less, your typical rom-com. It was moderately amusing while it was on, but it was nothing special. To start with explaining the movie’s issues, the plot of the movie was very predictable and went in the cookie-cutter direction that you would expect a movie like this to go in. In other words, the plot is so predictable that you will feel like you have seen this movie a hundred times before. Then there was the comedy, which left me chuckling here and there, but failed to ever make me truly laugh.

Fortunately, this movie was not all bad. I liked the two main characters. Both characters were searching for love, both characters had their own struggles with addiction, and both characters were better with each other. The characters were written well, the relationship between love and addiction was interesting, and the two lead actors (Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie) did a good job and worked well together. Unfortunately, the plot and the comedy surrounding these characters could have been a lot better.