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Leslye Headland
Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Jason MantZoukas, Natasha Lyonne, Adam Brody, Adam Scott
Writing Credits:
Leslye Headland

A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 1/5/2016

• None


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Sleeping With Other People (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 29, 2015)

When I last viewed a former Saturday Night Live castmember in a movie, I didn’t enjoy it. Kristen Wiig’s Nasty Baby offered a meandering, pointless exercise in pretentiousness.

That experience didn’t taint all SNL actors, of course, so 2015’s Sleeping with Other People ended up in my player. Back in 2002, college students Jake (SNL alum Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) hook up under unusual circumstances. In present day, they reconnect when they bump into each other as a group session for people with relationship/romantic issues.

It turns out that Lainey inevitably cheats on her boyfriends, and Jake just sleeps around in general. Despite their past – and Jake’s attempts to get her into the sack – Lainey thinks they should maintain a platonic situation. We follow their relationship and see whether or not they ever embrace a more romantic path.

If you’ve seen many – or really any - romantic comedies, you know where the tale will go. The big question becomes whether or not Sleeping does enough to maintain our attention as we await its inevitable finale.

The answer is “not really”. While it remains watchable, Sleeping fails to muster enough wit, romance and charm to deliver a winning take on its genre.

Part of the problem stems from its derivative nature, as Sleeping liberally borrows from references. It makes some lifts from The Graduate nearly literal, and it takes heavily from When Harry Met Sally as well.

Man, does Sleeping echo that Rob Reiner hit. Tons of similarities arise, and these feel awfully blatant. I can’t imagine those behind Sleeping weren’t aware of how much they “borrowed” from Sally and other films.

Another concern stems from the depiction of events, as the relationships in Sleeping never feel especially true. While the movie plays matters seriously, I couldn’t help but feel reminded of They Came Together, a not-especially-good parody of rom-coms from a couple of years ago.

Sleeping embraces genre clichés in a less ironic way but it maintains the phony feel of Together, and that becomes an issue. The dialogue and interactions lack a sense of realism, so the whole thing starts to feel like unintentional parody - Sleeping just can’t maintain a realistic enough tone to get the viewer to invest.

Not that this makes it a painless experience. The movie comes with a good cast, and they deliver just enough charm to keep us mildly interested.

But that’s about the best I can say for the film. Even with its trite story, Sleeping With Other People could’ve been a decent update on the When Harry Met Sally template. Instead, it seems forced and lazy.

The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus F

Sleeping With Other People appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The transfer seemed up and down.

Sharpness varied. Much of the movie offered pretty good clarity and delineation, but more than a few exceptions occurred, as I saw moderate softness at times. The image still provided positive definition most of the time. Jagged edges and shimmering were minor, and edge haloes remained absent. I saw no print flaws.

In terms of palette, the movie opted for a generally teal and orange feel. The hues went with a subdued impression and seemed acceptable. Blacks were fairly dark and dense, while shadows showed reasonable clarity. The image ended up as erratic but mostly good.

No one expects sonic fireworks from a rom-com like Sleeping, and the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack provided the low-key experience I anticipated. Music showed nice stereo imaging, but effects remained restrained. The mix presented decent environmental information but nothing more, so it used the side and rear speakers in a fairly passive manner.

Audio quality appeared fine. Speech appeared natural and concise, while music was smooth and warm. Effects didn’t have much to do, but they were acceptably accurate and full. All of this was enough for a “B-“.

Sleeping comes completely devoid of extras. It doesn’t even include previews!

If one hopes to get a clever update on the romantic comedy, one won’t find it in Sleeping With Other People. The movie musters basic entertainment but lacks creativity and depth. The Blu-ray provides generally positive picture and audio but lacks any supplements. A good cast makes me want to like Sleeping but the end result disappoints.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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