Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott
Director: Leslye Headland
Running Time: 101 mins
Sleeping With Other People is an American film about a man and a woman who, 12 years after losing their virginity to one another, are reunited by chance, and form a strong friendship as they each go about their promiscuous lives independently from one another.
I’m always appreciative when a film takes both a serious look at the topic of modern relationships as well as carries a good sense of humour, which is what Sleeping With Other People aims to do. However, although it’s a generally engaging watch with a couple of good laughs and heartfelt moments, it’s unfortunately just a little too meandering and long-winded to be a properly engrossing or affecting watch, which ultimately means it’s nowhere near as entertaining as it aims to be.
Before we get into that, however, let’s start with the positives, the biggest of which is the film’s strong atmosphere in combining heartfelt drama and good humour. With two pleasant and genuine lead performances from Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis, the relationship at the centre of the story makes for an enjoyable watch, and the many repartees between the two are good-natured and often fun to follow along.
What’s more is that director Leslye Headland does a good job not to let the film ever stray into any sort of melodrama, with things generally being kept at a simple and sufficiently genuine level, meaning that the characters themselves are a lot more relatable and interesting than is often the case in these indie romantic dramas.
As a result, while it isn’t perfect, you can have both a bit of fun and an interesting time with this film, following a pleasant and enjoyable central relationship that’ll make you laugh and smile from time to time.
With that said, however, I can’t really say that, despite the film’s often enjoyable nature, I was ever fully engrossed by Sleeping With Other People. That central relationship is a good plot element, but as for the rest of the story, nothing else really manages to emulate the same successes, with a variation of subplots arising throughout, yet never being given due value or emphasis to the point where you can really get to grips with them and be emotionally involved.
Unlike your average romantic comedy, where you can see every twist and turn coming a mile off, there are many parts of this film that are refreshing and unique, which is an undoubted positive. However, as many of those unique elements aren’t stressed enough, it proves both frustrating and difficult to really form a deeper emotional interest in the way that the central story is able to do.
Furthermore, the film is just a little too talky and meandering for its own good. It sounds like a petty and overly simple criticism, but the screenplay is generally not quite watertight enough for you to be fully engrossed by an hour and a half of everyday conversations. Again, the repartee between the lead two is good, meaning that their time onscreen together is engaging, but the rest of the story really drags due to that excessively talky and slow vibe, making for a frustrating watch that, unfortunately, as you become more bored, becomes more difficult to really be engrossed in.
Overall, I found Sleeping With Other People a bit of a mixed bag. It has two good central performances, some good humour and generally genuine and relatable drama, however it fails to really grab you with its entire story, often meandering and winding at too slow a pace with a less-than-stellar screenplay, making for a frustrating watch at the same time, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.0.