EIFF 2015: Sleeping with Other People

Film Review by Lewis Porteous | 18 Jun 2015
Film title: Sleeping with Other People
Director: Leslye Headland
Starring: Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Scott, Jason Mantzoukas, Amanda Peet

It’s hard to settle on a low point of this scumbag manifesto from writer-director Leslye Headland, but one scene in particular springs to mind. It involves two adults openly discussing their sexual predilections as they browse a department store, the pair’s unconventional dynamic provoking looks of shock, discomfort and awe among its staff. It’s far from the crassest or most nauseating sequence in Sleeping with Other People, yet perfectly encapsulates the film’s self-satisfied, shit-eating countenance.

Headland comes off as a tedious, contradictory bore. She asserts that certain subjects should be addressed publicly, while grossly overplaying their capacity to shock in a manner that's both out of touch and ultimately self-defeating.

There’s a degree of innovation in her narrative, a will-they-won’t-they between best friends who lost their virginity to each other over a decade previously, but there’s no mistaking traces of conventional Hollywood sexism in the film’s DNA. Jason Sudeikis assaults our senses as a vapid narcissist with whom only a genocidal Woody Allen could empathise, while Alison Brie is wasted as the lingerie-sporting waif in need of his rescue. Like the cheese with which its leading lady shares a surname, this stinks!

Screens at EIFF 2015:

18 June, 8.50pm, Cineworld

27 June, 6.10pm, Cineworld