Sleeping With Other People: Movie Review
At Sundance, Leslye Headland, writer/director of Sleeping with Other People, called her new film, “When Harry Met Sally for assholes.” And indeed, the narrative starts with several romantic-comedy staples—there’s an adorably nutty woman, Lainey (Alison Brie), and her smart-ass guy friend, Jake (Jason Sudeikis). They don’t know they’re perfect for each other, even though their friends keep telling them so, and they try to navigate their personal lives against the backdrop of upper-middle-class Manhattan. Then Headland adds lots of sex, a killer soundtrack, and a modernized version of an orgasm at Katz’s Deli (it involves self-love and an iced tea bottle). The “asshole” part comes in when we learn that both Lainey and Jake are serial cheaters. While Jake’s reasons are somewhat opaque, Lainey’s behavior is more thoughtfully explored. She is trapped in a long and terrible affair with an OB-GYN (Adam Scott), a man who inspires a toxic mix of panic and desire in her.
The success of Sleeping with Other People depends on viewers’ tolerance for romantic comedies. And the deciding factor could be a great scene, set to a great song. When Lainey, rolling on E at a child’s birthday party, makes up choreography to a David Bowie classic, you might just fall for modern love.