Sleeping With Other People

"A film that is saucy and sweet, for the boys and for the girls -- an R-rated Seinfeld." - Globe & Mail

“During a very romantic-comedy chat with her smart-mouthed best friend (Natasha Lyonne), Lainey (Alison Brie) dismisses the idea that men and women can’t be friends: “This is the 21st century,” she protests. It is, and yet the quarter-century-old question posed by When Harry Met Sally still hangs over countless rom-coms, including Sleeping With Other People. The small miracle of Leslye Headland’s second film is not that it sidesteps its influences or shuns its genre. It’s that it somehow makes the lusty undercurrents of its male/female friendship unironically romantic and, at times, unapologetically sexy.

“Headland doesn’t get there through coyness, either. Her film is upfront about sex; it begins with Lainey and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) losing their virginities to each other in college. The pair reunites unexpectedly years later at a 12-step meeting. Rather than rekindling their initial connection, Lainey and Jake decide to stay friends, counseling each other about their romantic travails and vowing not to have sex with each other.

“It sounds like basic romantic-comedy premise-rigging, but apart from slippery and sometimes-confusing time passage, Headland lets the familiar material breathe, and in the process it becomes rawer and scrappier than the typically self-conscious “anti-romantic comedy” that big studios occasionally let through. That’s not to say that Sleeping With Other People lacks for easygoing charm; both Brie and Sudeikis are, in fact, superhumanly appealing, while giving career-best performances almost off-handedly.

“Brie is especially touching as a woman tethered to a lousy non-relationship, but starting to break away from it and reclaim her life. Sudeikis plays a more motormouthed variation on his wise-ass enthusiast persona. Headland supplies the cast with plenty of repartee, while taking advantage of their comic looseness; her dialogue is distinct without ever programming the characters into robotic patter.

“Sleeping With Other People is very funny, but more surprising than its laughs are the emotions that sneak up on both the characters and the movie. Again Headland trades in genre familiarity for honesty. Two movies in, Headland understands the romance and heartbreak of everyday life.” - AV Club


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