Sleeping with Other People
Rom-coms are a tried and true formula that never deviate and are easy box office revenue. Sleeping with Other People presents itself as both different and sexier, but is neither. If anything, this indie by Leslye Headland is boring.
While at Columbia, Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) lost their virginity to each other. Fast forward several years later to a sex addicts’ meeting where the two meet again. This time they attempt friendship without sex and – big surprise – fall in love. The complication is that Lainey has been accepted into medical school and Jake doesn’t want her to go.
Having the female protagonist as a sexual predator is nothing new. To use a different but valid example, the current season of House of Cards explored Frank and Claire Underwood’s disturbing sexual relationship but not at the expense of plot or character development. In Sleeping with Other People, sex defines Lainey but her other personality traits are undefined, unless dancing in a sports bra in slow motion counts.
Along with the sexism, there are other gnawing throwbacks. Lainey and Jake inhabit in an all-white, rich, Ivy-League-graduates-only, Technicolor Manhattan set to mawkish soundtrack. Of course, Jake is a businessman on the verge of making millions. He also dates his boss (Amanda Peet) whom he treats disrespectfully in and out of the office. Conversations with their straight and gay friends are about sex and nothing else.
The biggest drawback of all is that the two leads have no chemistry. Both Brie and Sudeikis have been better in other flicks, but the film’s flaws don’t give them a chance.
IFC Films is distributing Sleeping with Other People. No doubt it will find that same tried audience. They, too, may want something more.
Sleeping with Other People does not yet have a US release date.