‘‘Sleeping with Other People’ might literally put you to sleep


If you haven’t seen “Sleeping With Other People,” starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, don’t worry, you pretty much already have. Romantic comedies don’t need to be predictable and painful to watch, though unfortunately, that is exactly what “Sleeping With Other People” is. The opening scene is – surprise! – a flashback to when the two main characters, Lainey and Jake, meet when Lainey is having a meltdown outside the dorm of a boy who won’t return her attraction.

Right before she is to be thrown out of the dorm, Jake comes to the rescue and says that she’s his guest. They go to his dorm and have a conversation about being virgins that is neither overly cute nor funny, and seems to last an eternity. After this conversation, I don’t think I need to spell out what happens next.

Flash forward 12 years, and we see present day Jake. I quickly came to the realization that Jason Sudeikis has the “mid 30’s, immature jerk who has charisma” character down to a tee. Almost too similar to the characters he’s played in past movies, such as “Hall Pass” and “We’re the Millers”, Jake cheats on his girlfriend and tries to use his fast talk to win her back. We also see Lainey, who confesses to her boyfriend that she’s cheated on him, and a huge breakup scene ensues.

To Alison Brie’s credit, she does a pretty good job for the insanely subpar material she was given to work with. My only hope is that she doesn’t end up like Sudeikis, continually taking material that doesn’t challenge her awesome acting skills.

Jake and Lainey unexpectedly cross paths soon after and catchup on old times, deciding that the best thing for both of them is to stay friends and nothing more. The sexual tension is immediately immanent, but Lainey has the man she’s been sleeping with on the table (a doctor played by Adam Scott of “Parks and Rec”, whose unsettling mustache was all I could focus on during every scene he was in), and Jake has too many commitment issues. Never seen this before, have you?

Every other necessary component of your average rom-com is covered as well. Self-centered, jerk best friend to the main male character? Check. Best friend of the main female character who randomly shows up when she needs a shoulder to cry on? Check. Awkward sex scenes? You betcha.

Shenanigans ensue throughout the movie, with both Lainey and Jake wondering when they’ll find the “right one” in their lives. Sometimes dramatic irony is a good tool for a director to use, but if the audience can figure out what’s going to happen in the first five minutes and it takes the characters close to two hours to get to that point, it becomes a chore for the viewer to stick around.

The only saving grace of this movie was Billy Eichner, whose 30 seconds on screen went by all too quickly. He was hilarious in his role as a recovering sex addict, in which he spoke at the meeting where Jake and Lainey reconnected in one another’s lives. I constantly found myself wishing that Billy’s character would return to the movie, and so I was disappointed when the credits started rolling and he had never reappeared.

Overall, I would say skip out on seeing “Sleeping With Other People.” There are countless romantic comedies that do exactly what this movie sets out to do, just a heck of a lot better.

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