Sleeping With Other People review: a mediocre rom-com with commitment problems

Melissa York
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Jake and Lainey turn up to a kid's party on ecstasy. As you do.

15 | Dir. Leslye Headland


Late bloomers Lainey (Community’s Alison Brie) and Jake (We’re The Millers’ Jason Sudeikis) play two shy students who lose their virginity to each other during a one night stand at Columbia University. Fast forward 12 years and they cross paths again, only this time, they’re both non-committal, serial cheaters.

In an ideal world, where rom-coms weren’t worried about nudity clauses or getting teenage bums on seats, these two would try to have a monogamous relationship with each other while coming up with increasingly implausible lies to hide their outlandish sexcapades.

Instead, this is a film about two people deciding not to have sex with each other. They talk a lot, go for walks in the park, eat Mexican food, even use a glass jar to demonstrate masturbation techniques. But no hokey-pokey, no siree. Bizarrely, they even have a pointless “safe word” – mousetrap – which they use when they want to have sex with each other, but won’t for reasons the film fails to adequately explain. It’s not even about overcoming sex addiction because, as the title implies, they are sleeping with other people.

It’s all painfully predictable, taking the age-old, will they won’t they/can men and women ever be friends/how on earth have I, a teacher, managed to buy this enormous apartment in Manhattan conceit, and sprinkled some crude gags and recreational drugs on it in the hope it’ll appeal to Judd Apatow’s audience.

But it simply isn’t outrageous enough for that, and nor is it soppy enough to draw in Nicholas Sparks fans, either. All that’s left is a mediocre rom-com that’s neither here nor there, hampered – ironically – by its inability to commit.

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