The debut of “When Harry Met Sally” has passed its 25th anniversary mark, which leaves room for a fresh version of the classic relationship question: Can men and women just be friends? Though Rob Reiner’s movie is timeless and can’t begin to be compared to others, “Sleeping with Other People” spins its own version of dating in the modern day, the dialogue so spot-on at times, you might also consider it a free lesson in love.
Lainey (Alison Brie) meets Jake (Jason Sudeikis) in a college dorm hallway as she’s trying to kick down the door of the guy she hopes to lose her virginity to, Matthew (Adam Scott). She nearly gets kicked out until Jake offers a helping hand. After learning that Jake is also a virgin, they do the inevitable in any romantic comedy: sleep together.
Fast forward twelve years later, Lainey and Jake haven’t quite shed their go-right-to-the-hookup ways. Jake has to explain to his latest sexual conquest that she knew he liked to sleep around, so can’t be too surprised when he sleeps with her best friend. Teachable lesson number one: When someone tells you that they will be sleeping with other people, it could very well be someone you know.
Lainey, on the other hand, has to tell the guy she’s dating (Adam Brody) that she’s cheated on him with none other than the guy she nearly kicked down a door for in college, who is a creepy-looking, monotone gynecologist. The fact that she finds him sexually appealing can only be based on habit and the “challenge” of wanting to be loved by someone that doesn’t love her.
As fate would have it, Jake and Lainey cross paths again at a sex addict meeting and after one date decide it’s probably better to stay friends. Despite the title, it’s not a raunchy film, but a smart one with the kind of witty dialogue you only wish the people you were sleeping with were clever enough to use.
If the orgrasm scene from “When Harry Met Sally” was blush-inducing during its time than Jake’s masturbation lesson to Lainey using a green tea bottle as a prop may not be a scene you want to watch with your parents, but other than the that the sex part of the story is pretty tame. It’s the humor of the characters that bring the repeated story to life. While Brie and Sudeikis have fantastic onscreen chemistry, it’s rivaled by the back and forth between Sudeikis and Jason Mantzoukas, who plays Jake’s best friend and business partner.
Expect cliches, but get pumped for lots of laughs that have definitely been missing from the “friends with benefits” movies that have come before. If you’ve just gone through a breakup, want a date night you both will enjoy or simply want to relive the silly relationship mistakes you’ve made in the past, “Sleeping with Other People” is the movie for you.