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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.

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 beforehand, so they will always be each other’s “first time.” They have not been together since then, but they have always remembered their night together. In the years that followed, both Jake and Lainey went 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 has been dating at the time, she has always come crawling back to her ex. 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

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

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 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 well 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 story also relied pretty heavily on Lainey's obsession with this guy, which made the issue more obvious.

The good thing was that the two characters were not supposed to be a good fit for each other, and I definitely bought that. I just thought the filmmakers could have done a better job of showing what Lainey saw in him, considering they spent so much of the movie's runtime showing her obsession with him. Instead, they depicted him as an obviously manipulative jerk with almost no redeeming qualities. As a result, this character and his role in the story did not work very well for me.

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Pro: Love & Addiction (+6pts)

For the most part, this movie was predictable, but one way that this rom-com was different was how love and addiction were incorporated into the main characters' respective stories. This movie looked at the fine line that can exist between love and addiction, and the impact that each of these things can have on the other. It was Jake and Lainey's respective searches for love that lead them down the path toward addiction. It was then their addiction that lead to their self-destructive behavior, preventing them from having successful relationships. After failed relationships, the two characters fell deeper into their addiction and the cycle continued, getting progressively worse.

They were more complex than your typical rom-com protagonists, as they were each dealing with some serious 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 main characters should be together. In this movie, they each had their respective fights with addiction, so can relate to one the other's situation like no one else really could. The movie was predictable, but I thought the filmmakers effectively established why these two characters should have been 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. Unfortunately, that meant that the movie went in the exact direction that I expected it to. The two characters met, but they were in denial about their feelings toward one another. Did 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 very typical. There were no surprises, and it made for a story that you will feel like you have already seen countless times before. This ultimately made the movie kind of boring. 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 unique. Unfortunately, it felt like the writers wrote a couple of decent characters, only to phone it in for the rest of the script.

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Pro: Jason Mantzoukas (+2pts)

This character did not have much of an impact on the overall story, so I really do not need to spend too much time commenting on him here. Jason Mantzoukas is funny, and he has a pretty entertaining comedic style. He was the typical, ridiculous male friend of the male protagonist, and he had a number of funny moments and lines. Jason Mantzoukas played a pretty minor comedic character, but he 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 fully laughed out loud. 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 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 ultimately nothing special. To start, the plot was very predictable and it went in the cookie-cutter direction that you would expect it to. It was 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 it failed to ever make me truly laugh.

This movie was not all bad, however. I liked the two main characters. Both were searching for love, both had their own struggles with addiction, and both seemed to be the best versions of themselves when they were together. The characters were written well, the relationship between love and addiction was interesting, and the two lead actors worked well together. Unfortunately, the plot and the comedy surrounding them had a lot of room for improvement.

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