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Sleeping With Other People


Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Jason Mantzoukas, Amanda Peet, Andrea Savage, Natasha Lyonne, Katherine Waterston, Adam Brody, Marc Blucas, Margarita Levieva, Billy Eichner

Director: Leslye Headland

This time around Leslye Headland, who co-scripted the less than notable About Last Night, directs as well.

One gets the strong impression from this limp romcom that she remembers When Harry Met Sally with genuine affection and, on the evidence here, with not a little admiration.

Sadly, recall isn’t everything.

While Harry Met Sally was funny, more or less credible and a pleasure to watch sitting through, this was hard work – although perhaps not quite as hard work as luckless leads Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie must have had trying but rarely succeeding in making the movie bearable for rather too much of its sunning time.

Indeed, should Headland have been trying for homage to Harry, Sally and their ilk, unfortunately she ended up with fromage. Not too inappropriate, I suppose, given the leading lady’s surname.

She and Sudeikis casually lose their virginity to each other while at college which on reflection seems a traditional American university sport, if Hollywood is anything to go by,

12 years later, they meet again while both of them are members of a support group for serial seducers in New York.

She is locked in a loveless romance with sex-charged medic Adam Scott while he is happily bedding one woman after another.

So will they get together again?

The thudding progression to the obviously signalled ending might well have you sleeping (but not in any sexual way, I hasten to add) with fellow members of an audience who have sensibly slid into slumber as a way of getting through the film.

Headland’s all-too-frequently leaden aspirant Woody-Allen style dialogue hardly helps, either, and while Brie and Sudeikis try hard they rarely succeed in injecting anything really worthwhile into the stodgy show whose ending is signalled with all the subtlety of a Zeppelin in a telephone box.

One thing made me laugh, though. Will Ferrell was one of the producers. I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps he might have fished the screenplay out of his wastepaper basket.

It must just have passed muster as an average TV movie where at least a fast-forward button might be a valuable asset. But paying to see it would be rather a waste of time and money.

One line, "Enough of this shit!" summed up the film perfectly for me.

Alan Frank

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Jan 2016