This movie is a Romantic Comedy. For some there are no fouler words in film and for others it’s a great date night. I fall in between and the cast of Sleeping With Other People (Jason Sudekis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott and Jason Mantzoukas) meant this was always going to be a must see for me. Rom-Com’s get a bad name because just like 80’s action movies, you know exactly how they are meant to end. If they mess with the formula then you are left unsatisfied. We know where we need to end but it’s the journey that gives us the real pleasure at the end of this film.
It’s a Romantic Comedy. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy finds girl. Boy can’t be with girl because girl has a partner….no wait. This is a bit different actually. Jake and Lainey meet in college and then not again until 13 years later when they stumble into each other at a Sex Addicts meeting, both having failed at maintaining any socially acceptable romances in the intervening time. After the hint that they may fall for each other, the pair decide to keep their relationship strictly platonic and thus begin a ride that sees them bouncing off each other as they both attempt to conform to what they are meant to be. Sleeping With Other People works like two attracted magnets being held centimetres apart, you can feel the tension and are waiting with baited breath for the clash.
The Best Bit:
As a way to curb potential sexual urges, Jake demonstrates to Lainey how to correctly masturbate using an empty bottle. The scene is graphic, side splittingly funny but also helps to drive the plot, the pairs relationship and be educational for all those wondering how you should treat a clitoris. This is a film which takes an equal look at male and female sexuality and doesn’t look to demonise either, something that shouldn’t need to be said, but it quite refreshing.
A romantic comedy is a combination of two elements, it’s in the name. Yet so many films fail to harness both aspects. Sleeping With Other People nails both sides of the coin. The comedic timing and charisma of Jason Sudekis light up the screen and mixed with Alison Brie’s naivety make for some fresh laughs. I have watched many romantic comedies and have reached the end and had no emotional investment. Here I wanted the absolute best for Jake and Lainey. They made me laugh, smile and even tugged at my heart strings. When the comedy and romance are good then you have the proper ingredients.
Is this too much of a pedestrian comedy? Does the fact that the director never looked to change the world a fault? I don’t think either are real issues, but perhaps the film never gets out of second gear and looks to really break the rules like most cult classics do.
Sleeping With Other People is a good time. With plenty of laughs and some touching scenes at the back end of the film, this is a highly satisfying entry into a now oversaturated genre. Give me more Jason Sudekis. Please.