You know the drill when it comes to romantic comedies like Sleeping With Other People. Take two attractive people, throw in a whole bunch of sexual tension that amounts to a ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe, sprinkle a few kooky friends, a dash of ‘keenly’ observed dating in the modern world insights and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a hit comedy. Sounds like When Harry Met Sally right? Well, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it because this is essentially the same question of can a man and a woman ever be friends without sex getting in the way? If movies have taught us anything the answer is a resounding no.
The man and woman in question are Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) who meet at college as older virgins. Having de-flowered each other they go their separate ways. Twelve years later Jake has become a bit of a ladies man, sleeping his way around New York while Lainey is obsessed with a college sweetheart, played with douchey brilliance by Adam Scott, who happens to be married. When Lainey and Jake run into each other at a sex addicts meeting they realise they want to have sex together. But knowing how they fair when they sleep with people they agree to be friends.
See if you can guess what happens next. Okay, so Sleeping With Other people is fairly by the numbers. Only once does it look like it’s going to do something other than the expected and then it goes and does the opposite anyway because, well because that’s what you came for. Don’t deny it, it’s true, you wanted to see this movie to see two adorably cute people to and fro with the tribulations of modern love. And that’s okay.
Writer director Leslye Headland hits all the notes you want her to. There is sexual tension to burn, Brie and Sudeikis have wonderful chemistry and the kooky friends, not to mention a stand-out cameo from Adam Brody, are all adorably funny. Those last two words, that’s Sleeping With Other People in a nutshell. Adorably funny. It’s not going to challenge your intellect, it’s not going to break the mould but in sticking to it you’re going to get exactly what you paid for. And you can’t say fairer than that.
Still, makes you wonder: can a guy and a girl ever be just friends? Answers on a postcard.