Sleeping With Other People
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