Romantic comedies are a very common occurrence and weeding out the good from the bad can be as hit and miss as getting an unflawed fast food order, most of them coming off like a cheap cheeseburger. Sleeping With Other People on the outside looks like it could fall into the norm of these cookie cutter films, seeing as how it presented the audience with two different trailers with jarring plot differences. One looks like a lackadaisical romantic comedy with two friends who will or won’t become romantically involved and the other presents two people with obvious relationship-crippling qualities that find a common ground as friends. Let me tell you the second one rings mostly true.
Jason Sudekis plays Jake, a chronic one night stander that finds his way out of relationships by sleeping with the girl of the week’s sister or best friend, kind of reminiscent of Trainwreck earlier this year. On the other side of this is Lainey (Alison Brie), a kindergarten teacher who still holds a flame for her college crush, for whom she sabotages any other relationships by cheating on them with him.
Unlike Jake, Lainey isn’t happy with her situation and goes to a sex addicts meeting at the request of her therapist. There she reconnects with Jake – a hilarious meetcute, since they both lost their virginity to each other. After setting some non sexual ground rules, the two become very close friends with an underlying sexual wantonness.
This film could quickly be shuffled away as a “who cares” comedy if it weren’t for the chemistry between Sudekis and Brie. The former SNL star had Jason Bateman and Charlie Day to play off of for the Horrible Bosses film and took some lead reigns for last years We’re The Millers, with which critics were unhappy, but he manages to be likeable in this, making the film tolerable.
Alison Brie breaks out of her usual good girl roles and delivers some serious sex appeal in this film, possibly turning more heads than she has before. Lainey is never a character that gets pigeonholed into any stereotypical category, especially not as much as the womanizer, Jake.
The scene stealer of this movie is definitely Jason Mantzoukas who plays Jake’s best friend and business partner. I could feel the brilliant improv ooze out of every line, cracking me up every single time. I think it’s about time he gets his own project, don’t you think? He’s been an unsung hero for too many comedy films for this not to come true.
My issue with this film comes from writer and director Leslye Headland stretching out this film about fifteen minutes too long. There’s a point near the end where everything feels wrapped up to a satisfying but slightly ambiguous point where a fade to credits would have worked. Instead the Bachelorette filmmaker adds another seven or eight scenes that feel a little tacked on for time. A small oversight but it’s a bit damaging to the final product.
If your looking for a laugh, which there has been a lack of over the last couple months, this movie will satisfy that in an enjoyable way, though it’s nothing to rave about. Trainwreck is still the dominant force in this genre for 2015, so that gets the nod ahead of this one. I had some fun with this one and give it a three out of five.