Sleep­ing With Other Peo­ple

Pasatiempo - - CONTENT - — Michael Abatemarco

SLEEP­ING WITH OTHER PEO­PLE, ro­man­tic com­edy, rated R, Vi­o­let Crown Cin­ema, 2 chiles

There isn’t much that’s orig­i­nal in di­rec­tor Les­lye Head­land’s Sleep­ing

With Other Peo­ple. The story fol­lows the wom­an­iz­ing Jake ( Jason Sudeikis) and the more sub­mis­sive Lainey (Ali­son Brie), for­mer friends who lost their vir­gin­ity to each other in col­lege 12 years ear­lier. Lainey, who longs to reignite an old re­la­tion­ship with a for­mer lover (Adam Scott) de­spite al­ready hav­ing a boyfriend (Adam Brody), runs into Jake by chance at a sex ad­dic­tion clinic. They re­new their friend­ship with a com­mit­ment to keep it strictly pla­tonic, but see­ing as this is your typ­i­cal, cliché-rid­den rom-com, things get com­pli­cated. As they re­gale each other with tales of sex­ual con­quest and de­feat, their feel­ings for one another grow, even though they have a safe word to em­ploy if any idea of ro­mance should come to the fore. But any pos­si­bil­ity of ac­tu­ally shed­ding light on sex ad­dic­tion, or treat­ing it se­ri­ously, is thrown out the win­dow be­cause, ap­par­ently, all you re­ally need is to find the right guy or gal and prob­lem solved.

It isn’t too much of a spoiler to re­veal that Jake and Lainey are made for each other, a fact the as­tute film­goer, hav­ing been down this road count­less times, al­ready knows, but the char­ac­ters only re­al­ize later. De­spite this short­com­ing, Sleep­ing With Other Peo­ple has gen­uinely funny mo­ments cour­tesy of the rapid-fire repar­tee and un­de­ni­able chem­istry of its two leads. Lainey is timid where Jake is con­fi­dent, and this dy­namic is ef­fec­tively played to full ef­fect in the film’s more comic mo­ments, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing a tu­to­rial on fe­male mas­tur­ba­tion. But there is an echo in that scene of the no­tion that a woman needs a man’s touch when learn­ing the ins and outs (pun in­tended) of au­to­eroti­cism. Too many jokes with pop-cul­ture and hipster ref­er­ences make Sleep­ing

With Other Peo­ple ei­ther too self-aware or too self-con­scious for au­then­tic­ity’s sake; these are real peo­ple, but they’re trapped in a script that’s by-the-num­bers.

The screen­play is, per­haps, too kind to the wom­an­iz­ing Jake and the hung-up Lainey, whose stalk­ing of a for­mer lover sug­gests a char­ac­ter more un­hinged than lovelorn. In the end, their lively di­a­logue doesn’t rise above the tired ma­te­rial.

Sec­ond time around: Ali­son Brie and Jason Sudeikis

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