August 26, 2015 Film Reviews

'Sleeping with Other People' (2015)

When it comes to relationships, some couples take their sweet time to sort out their baggage…and board the same ride.

For one party, the obstacle to commitment can be a fear of failure. For the other, an unhealthy obsession with a former infatuation. In both cases, infidelity can be a convenient Get Out of Jail card; temporarily liberating but ultimately unsatisfying.

In writer/director Leslye Headland’s Sleeping with Other People (2015), Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) cross paths twelve years after an awkward one-night-stand in college. While they endeavour to maintain a Platonic relationship, their casual flings and messy, sexual misadventures with others only draw them closer, accentuating their mutual attraction.

With its raunchy rapid-fire dialogue, a green-tea flavoured tutorial on female auto-affection, punchy one-liners (‘your face says “come solve my problems with your penis”‘), and one of the funniest fight sequences since Bridget Jones’s Diary, this is a peppery romantic comedy for the age of accelerated social connectivity (and increasing interpersonal distance).

Against the backdrop of sexual addiction, disposable lovers, compulsive trysts, messy workplace flings, and ephemeral coffee shop romances (Taylor Swift and Tinder are arguably to blame here), the fizzy chemistry between a smooth-talking philanderer and a serial cheater turns into something more binding and stable, giving weight to the notion that, in the end, monogamy and marriage are strangely more fulfilling than other people’s partners.