The nature of romantic comedy has changed in the past 20 years. Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman – these movies provided a fairytale aspect to the idea of romance: Prince Charming, the one person made for you. Nowadays, a hyper-realistic brand of rom-com has sprung up, grounded less in idealised perfect moments and more in the sometimes harsh, sometimes lovely interactions between two people in love.
Sleeping with Other People provides a considered reflection of mental disorders without ever making them the focus. Conversation is dominated by phrases like “we’re so fucked up” and “there’s something seriously wrong with us”, while Lainey’s (Alison Brie) panic attack in Central Park is quite touching.
The film is filled with tiny moments of hilarity that defy expectations, such as Lainey and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) turning up to a children’s birthday party high on ecstasy, prompting the parents to reminisce: “I miss taking drugs so much.”
The blatant sexual overtones are there in spades; however the honesty and empathy displayed between the characters is what stuck with me. Sudeikis delivers a performance that caught me by surprise, maintaining his normal fast talking brand of comedy, but combining it with an authentic communication that’s extremely likeable.