Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, SNL) star as two monogamy-challenged folks struggling to hold down any semblance of relationship till they predictably fall for each other by the time the credits roll. No need for a spoiler-alert there as every rom-com ends the same.
After an opening flashback to 2002 wherein we learn that the two leads lost their virginity together 12 years earlier in a chance college hookup we jump to the present day. Lainey (Brie) and Jake (Sudeikis) bump into each other at a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting. Discovering they both suffer from the same affliction they become BFFs, sharing details of their conquests and swearing to keep it platonic. Inevitably after various sexually tense scenarios, they can no longer deny their love and live happily ever after.
Sleeping With Other People is another entry into the canon of generic romantic comedies sold as “indie” and “edgy” and “OMG LOL-worthy”, but in reality are just as formulaic as any other piece of mainstream Hollywood tripe. Dressing up a sickly sweet love story with drug trips, throwaway sex and oh so hip “damage” does not alter what it is at its core. When Harry Met Sally for the Tinder generation is probably an accurate tagline/synopsis, but this film fails to have its own unique identity and I don’t think it will have the same cultural standing/following of When Harry Met Sally for future generations.
One plus is at least this film spared us the cringe-worthy Pixie’s song cliché’ (see: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, This is 40), although of course Sudeikis’ character is a vinyl collector. I enjoyed Leslye Headland’s (writer/director) Bachelorette, so thought this film might be a bit more along the lines of that, but whatever the film had going for it gets bogged down among the typical rom-com cliches.
Clearly there’s a large audience for these types of films (a standing ovation at Sundance!?), I’m just not one of ’em. I’ll watch the odd one that seems to generate buzz but I do not see what the fuss is about this film. If you’re a fan of rom-coms à la Thanks For Sharing or Forgetting Sarah Marshall, this is a must-see.
There’s a lot in the extras department which is kind of frustrating as it really isn’t the kind of film that needs to explain itself further, but it does for 72 minutes. The extras are Cast and crew interviews with director Leslye Headland, Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Amanda Peet and Adam Scott, and there’s also behind-the-scenes featurette focusing on some of the more “memorable” scenes from the movies, which I found fell flat (the dance at the party).