The saying goes, "Once a cheater, always a cheater." So if cheating is habitual it begs the question: Is it nature or nurture that leads one down this this path of infidelity?
Meet Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie). In the early 2000s as lonely college kids, they met and spent a night of passionate cherry-popping together. Fast forward over a decade later and the pair meet once again, only this time it’s at a sex addict meeting. Jake is there to appease his flavour of the week, while Lainey is a love addict just off the back of her latest sabotaged relationship after she once again went running back to a married flame. The two start to hang out as each other's sex sponsors, much like an alcoholic, and quickly become best friends. Platonic best friends, knowing only too well the damage sex can cause.
Men and women pretending to be friends when in actual fact they’re just delaying the inevitable bonkfest - we’ve seen it a hundred times. But here’s where ‘Sleeping With Other People’ differs: Jake and Lainey have already drank from that well, so that initial want, need and curiosity isn’t as immediacy. These characters take sex off the table not because they’re denying their true feelings for each other, but because it’s literally a self-destructive move and they want more for themselves. It’s a spin that keeps you distracted and engaged just enough before you find yourself wadding through rom-com predictability. Nevertheless, there are thousands of these movies for a reason... we love them! Of course they’re going to get together. Of course they’re each other's soul mates. Of course it’s unrealistic. It’s entertainment!
‘Sleeping With Other People’ is about damaged goods, with a wicked sense of humour.
But we’re not watching this movie for the ending, we watch it for the characters and their journey. ‘Sleeping With Other People’ is about damaged goods, with a wicked sense of humour. It has so many great, funny elements - including every member of the cast. Writer/director Leslye Headland (‘Bachelorette’) isn’t afraid to be dark and downright sad before smacking you with some hardcore truth, but the girl does it with wit and style. This movie is a 21st century ‘When Harry Met Sally’, if Harry and Sally were forced to take anti-depressants.
And lastly, I have to say Jason Mantzoukas and Andrea Savage, who play Jake’s business partner and his wife, need their own movie. Whether it’s a ‘This Is 40’ deal or something completely new, it doesn’t matter, just give them 90 minutes of screen time... at least.