Can two serial cheaters teach each other to love monogamously? Tackling this question head on, indie romantic-comedy Sleeping with Other People provides a modern take on the age-old concept of ‘the one’.
From the woman who gave us the Bachelorette (2012), the film’s genre and content clearly comes naturally to rom-com veteran, Leslye Headland, who wrote and directed the movie. Having premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it features a recognisable and talented cast including Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Brody and Adam Scott.
Set against the backdrop of present-day New York City, the film tells the story of Jake (Sudeikis), a womaniser, and love-sick Lainey, who meet for the first time since a one-night stand in college, twelve years prior. Both dysfunctional romantics, they form an unlikely platonic friendship, in an attempt to reform their adulterous ways. Despite an instant mutual attraction, what ensues is a healthy and healing relationship, that sees them become best friends.
I found the entire premise surprisingly sweet, while the witty dialogue and emotional rawness referenced a lost-era of the classic rom-com. Like a true indie flick, the cinematography is stylish and refreshingly sophisticated for its genre. Furthermore, the film is devilishly hilarious, laden with sexual innuendos and quotable one-liners, especially from the smooth-talking Jake character.
Though the plot follows an accessible romantic-comedy formula, the movie is not without its unpredictable, often outrageous scenarios. But above all else, this is a touching tale exploring the coexistence of true friendship and love, through the skilful development of Jake and Lainey’s relationship.
While undoubtedly designed for adult audiences, Sleeping with Other People presents a carefree tone that reminds grown-ups not to take life so seriously. Drawing overwhelming parallels to When Harry Met Sally, I highly recommend the film for all romantic-comedy lovers. However, I would also prescribe it to those seeking a dose of light-entertainment, without the sacrifice of intelligence or heart.
Release date: October 29, 2015
Director: Leslye Headland
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: 4 out of 5
Words by Arabella Creagh | Images by IFC Films