Movie Review: “Sleeping with Other People”

Starring
Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Andrea Savage, Jason Mantzoukas, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Natasha Lyonne
Director
Leslye Headland

Writer/director Leslye Headland’s debut feature, “Bachelorette,” was an incredibly cruel and unfunny dark comedy filled with selfish people doing horrible things, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that her follow-up, “Sleeping with Other People,” hardly has a mean-spirited bone in its body. Granted, the characters aren’t exactly saints, but for the most part, they’re likable human beings with very real flaws that you actually care about. That’s a welcome change from the insufferable assholes that populated Headland’s first film, and it helps solidify “Sleeping with Other People” as a sweet and candid romantic comedy that ranks as one of the more enjoyable entries in the genre in quite some time.

It’s been more than a decade since Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) first met as students at Columbia University, where they lost their virginities to one another on the roof of Jake’s college dorm before seemingly vanishing from each other’s life forever. They haven’t had a healthy relationship since that night, with Jake resigned to playing the field as a perpetual bachelor and Lainey’s love life stunted by her obsession with college crush, Matthew Sobvechik (Adam Scott). But when Jake and Lainey cross paths at a sex addicts meeting in New York City, they pick up right where they left off. Though the attraction between them is palpable, they agree to keep things strictly platonic because sex has always played a part in their failed relationships. However, as they spend more time together and begin to act like a real couple, Jake and Lainey must decide whether to break things off and save themselves the heartache or risk giving romance a shot.

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Movie Review: “Horrible Bosses 2″

Starring
Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey
Director
Sean Anders

The basic rule for sequels is to make everything bigger than the original. For action movies, that makes sense, even if it’s often unwise. For comedies, it makes no sense whatsoever, and “Horrible Bosses 2” is the proof. The three leads go from likable bumblers in the 2011 original to complete idiots here. Jennifer Aniston’s character has been grossly compromised, emphasis on “grossly.” Kevin Spacey is the only returning actor whose character survives with his dignity intact, but his character is an even bigger square peg than Aniston’s. The movie’s most egregious offense, though, is that it’s lazy. Not only is the plot a “22 Jump Street”-type rehashing of the original, but the opening scene would make the cast of “American Pie” blush. Really, guys, you’re sending love letters to “American Pie”? You’re better than that, or at least you used to be.

Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) have decided that the best way to avoid having a boss is to be the boss, and the three launch a new product that attracts the interest of global shipper Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz). Bert and the boys agree to a deal where they will supply his company with a huge order of their product, but Bert double-crosses them after they’re up to their eyeballs in debt, with the intention of stealing the product from them for pennies on the dollar. After ruling out a few extreme ideas, the three decide to kidnap Bert’s son Rex (Chris Pine), and hold him for enough ransom to make up their expenses. Much to their surprise, Rex is down with the plan, and encourages them to raise both the ransom and their game in return for a larger cut. The boys quickly realize, though, that Rex causes more headaches than the ransom money will solve.

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Movie Review: “We’re the Millers”

Starring
Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms
Director
Rawson Marshall Thurber

It hasn’t been a particularly memorable year at the movies, especially for those in search of a good comedy, so it’s a relief to see a film like “We’re the Millers” arrive in theaters, because although it’s not as funny as its behind-the-scenes talent might suggest, it’s one of the better comedies released thus far. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”) and co-written by the guys behind “Wedding Crashers” and “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “We’re the Millers” doesn’t break any new comedic ground, but it’s packed with some great laughs and an ensemble cast that seems game for just about anything, no matter how outrageous or inappropriate it may be.

“SNL” veteran Jason Sudeikis stars as David Clark, a low-level drug dealer who gets robbed one night by a group of thugs, losing his entire stash and personal savings in the process. His slimeball boss (Ed Helms) doesn’t take the news well, but he offers David a chance to make amends by smuggling a “smidge” of marijuana across the Mexican border in exchange for a clean slate and $100,000. David knows that a single guy traveling alone in an RV will only draw attention from the border police, so he recruits a fake family to serve as a disguise, including the stripper who lives in his apartment building (Jennifer Aniston), the dorky virgin next door (Will Poulter) and a bratty teen runaway (Emma Roberts). But when they arrive in Mexico, the aforementioned “smidge” turns out to be a few metric tons, and worse yet, it belongs to someone else, forcing the ersatz Miller family on the run from a ruthless drug lord.

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