'Sleeping with Other People' review: Likable top stars can't save flawed rom-com
This anti rom-com clearly tries to upend the formulaic genre by throwing in some tawdry humor, but "Sleeping With Other People" (opening in theaters nationwide Sept. 18) just doesn't have enough heart, leaving it little more than a raunchy flick.
In short: Womanizer Jake ("SNL" alum Jason Sudeikis) and a serial cheater Lainey ("Mad Men" actress Alison Brie) -- who once hooked up in college -- reunite years later and form a platonic relationship so they can change their ways. (Watch the trailer)
Sudeikis and Brie deserve some credit for doing their darnedest to make their admittedly gross characters likable. In that respect, the two stars succeed in making their selfish and sex-crazed characters very human, funny and likable. This alone made "Other People" much more palatable than it should be -- because virtually nothing else adds much (or any) heart to this flawed sex comedy.
Sadly, "Other People" comes very close to something of an inspired and heartfelt ending -- if only this movie was 10 or so minutes shorter. The crescendo of the third act could have ended on an unexpected bittersweet note -- one that would have made logical sense and could have completed a more human/heartfelt character arch for Jake and Lainey. But, in a wholly misguided bit of storytelling, "Other People" tacks on a saccharine and unearned ending, leading to a conclusion that is as predictable as it is disappointing.
Final verdict: "Sleeping With Other People" is a mildly entertaining raunchy rom-com featuring two fun and lovable characters ... until it stumbles across the finish line with a terribly disappointing resolution. "Other People" isn't officially 'bad' but it could have been so much better and self-aware. In the end, this is just another "platonic relationship with sexual tension" flick -- except this one features a particularly crude sexual stimulation pantomime scene.
"Sleeping With Other People" opens in theaters nationwide Sept. 18. This romantic comedy is rated R for strong sexual content, language including sexual references, and some drug use.