Tag: Amanda Peet

Sleeping With Other People

It took me so long to watch Sleeping With Other People, because I made a lot of assumptions based on the title.

I assumed it was about two people in a relationship who were going through a tough time. Their sex drives were low but their love was high and that was making them frustrated. So they agreed to let themselves sleep with other people. Just to spice things up.

I didn’t feel like seeing it, because I already saw that movie in The Freebie. And hell, I also saw Hall Pass which was similar enough and shares a main actor.

But I was wrong, and the assumption made us all assholes. Or something like that.

Shit, here they are sleeping with each other. What the fuck movie title?

Let’s start out in 2002 or so. I forget the year. Early new millennium! Lainey (Alison Brie) is banging on a dorm room door, trying to get some sex with some loser. Before she gets kicked out, Jake (Jason Sudeikis) says she is here as his guest, so they hang out and talk about her issues. And they have sex, both of them being virgins after a long night of getting to know each other.

Then you know, they lost touch over time. Now it is modern day. Jake is addicted to sex, full on. He has sex a lot, is known as a player, and has even gotten around to his job. He is trying to sleep with his new boss (Amanda Peet).

Lainey is addicted to…love! She breaks up with her boyfriend whom she has been cheating on with constantly. With Matthew (Adam Scott), a gynecologist, the guy who she tried to sleep with in college so long ago. Except he has a pregnant wife, but she can’t get over him.

Either way, Lainey and Jake eventually meet up and go on a small date. They both open up with their relationship problems and agree that sleeping with each other would be a bad thing. They should remain just friends, avoid sexy talk if possible, and just help each other with their issues.

But you know, this is romance thing. That’s all I will say.

Also starring Anna Margaret Hollyman, Jason Mantzoukas, Natasha Lyonne, and Andrea Savage.

Taking off shirts at a kids birthday party is one way to avoid sexy time.

Sleeping With Other People is one of those strange movies that doesn’t even show some sexy times occurring. I am not clamoring for penetration in film or anything ridiculous, just that the sex they show looks very unnatural, with the characters wearing all their clothes still and usually just collapsing at the end. Yes, this happens all the time now it seems, especially with the PG-13 Rating. But this movie is rated R. Let’s use the old internet sexist phrase, “Tits or GTFO.”

Sorry to be crass. But just an annoyance and a strange step away from realism that has been growing.

There are amusing moments in Sleeping With Other People, but I think the downfall of the film is in its dramatic moments. They tended to feel a bit more nonsensical than the comedic ones, which is normally opposite. I could never fully connect with either character, who both were living lies for months. They needed Mike Tyson to just walk up to them and say “Now Kith” to get it over with.

This analysis is dull, because the movie is just so damn average. It is a mediocre plot, with average acting, an occasional funny moment, and many without. Watch it if you like the actors, ignore it otherwise.

2 out of 4.

The Way, Way Back

Jim Rash and Nat Faxon wrote The Descendants, and graced our screens with its presence in 2011. It was nominated for Best Picture and eventually won Best Adapted Screenplay. It basically made these writers pretty hot commodities.

That is why I was excited to see The Way, Way Back, their next film. No George Clooney this time, but they have plenty of other actors to fill his void.

Sam Rockwell
Look, here are three now!

Summer can suck. Especially if you are Duncan (Liam James). Your parents are divorced, your dad just moved from NY to CA, and your mom (Toni Collette) is dating the biggest douche in the universe, Trent (Steve Carell). Unfortunately for Duncan, he has to head out to Trent’s summer beach house to pretend to give this new family idea a chance.

Did I mention Trent is a douche? He talks down to Duncan, constantly goes off with his friends (Rob CorddryAmanda Peet) to get drunk or high or both. It is basically his personal summer vacation, where Duncan and his mom are afterthoughts.

But eventually, Duncan finds friendship in the local Water Park. Slacker manager Owen (Sam Rockwell) has decided to take pity on Duncan, give him a job and help him find a purpose in this long dreadful summer. With the help of Owen and the other workers (Maya Rudolph, Faxon, Rash), Duncan learns that there are non sucky things out there in life.

That is great, sure, but will this new found joy in life at all help him with his horrible home situation? Will it help him woo over the neighbor girl (AnnaSophia Robb), who has to deal with her constantly drunk mother (Allison Janney)?

Oh god. He is staring into my soul. What do I do!? Just act natural. Ho hum…AHHH!

Comedy/Drama movies are actually quite hard to pull off successfully. After all, even the strictest of dramas tend to have some minor elements in comedy, and vice versa. But most movies labeled in this category are clearly still one genre over the other, or even worse, weak in both areas to try and find a balance. One of the best examples I could list of a real comedy/drama would be 50/50, a film that made me both laugh and cry.

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash wrote a decent comedy/drama with The Descendants, very enjoyable, but it could have been more dramatic. For The Way, Way Back, they decided to amp up their game, and created a much better film. Not going to lie, I cried three times during it. I can’t say I relate specifically to the scenes in this film, but thanks to an excellent build up with terrific acting from everyone on the cast, the emotions quickly took over.

Steve Carell had to play the biggest jerk in the world, and he pulled it off well. It was quite surprising. Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney carried the comedy for me, while at the same time their characters felt real. Everyone felt real. I love real, even though real characters lead to uncomfortable moments.

Major props as well to Liam James. I can’t say I recognized him in anything before, however he pulled off the awkward/lonely teenager role really well. But hey, apparently he was Young Shawn in the Psych flashbacks, so that is kind of cool.


4 out of 4.

Identity Thief

Identity Thief came out the same day as Side Effects in theaters, yet they went the opposite route when it came to advertisements. Side Effects had barely any, and Identity Thief drowned the market with with TV spots and promos.

That’s right. So many ads, I am surprised I have enough energy to tread water still.

Run as fast as you’d like, but you cannot escape the ad train.

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) is your normal Colorado living individual with a funny name. He is also a bit naive and a bit of a pushover, which is why no one is surprised when he gets his identity stolen by a “Diana” (Melissa McCarthy) in Winter Park, Florida!

Thanks to all of her shit, he now finds himself with a criminal record, failing to show up to a court date, and several thousands dollars of credit card debt. Hooray! It doesn’t help that he just started a new law firm with his buddy (John Cho) and when people Google his name, they only see pages of bad. The detective on his case (Morris Chestnut) can only help him if he can get Diana on his own to come back to Colorado and admit to her crimes. Clearly not too hard!

Amanda Peet plays his wife, Jon Favreau a jerk boss, T.I. and Genesis Rodriguez are hitmen after Diana, Robert Patrick a bail bondsman, and Eric Stonestreet as a rich Texan.

A rich and sexy Texan, of course.

The problem with a lot of advertisements is that each one is going to be different. The problem with that? I think only two or so scenes really felt surprising or new to me. I’ve seen the jokes, the gags, the violence, and the entire plot in their ads. I feel like that probably lessened the experience.

But lets talk about the plot. Identity theft on its own is relatively simple idea, and I am pretty sure hasn’t been done in this way before as a comedy. But the writers decided to make this movie anything but simple! She is a con artist, who was a foster child, who has made problems worse by bad dealings with local gangs, and being drunk in public. That means they are running from multiple groups while hating each others company and constantly lying about their intentions.

I think there is a fine line between annoying side character and misunderstood side character. What made Planes, Trains, and Automobiles so much better than Due Date is by humanizing the weird character and not just making them an asshole. Although they attempt to humanize Diana, I don’t think it works at all, and just see her as miserable person the whole movie.

The humor itself isn’t too well thought out. I laughed during a few scenes only, but I will note the theater as a whole seemed to laugh throughout.

Overall, I just feel bad for Jason Bateman. He kicked ass in Dodgeball and Arrested Development, but he has been on a slow decline since then.

1 out of 4.

$5 A Day

I honestly don’t know what to say about $5 A Day based on what I guessed it would be about. Maybe prostitution. Very cheap prostitution.

But that is my go to thought for all films I’ve never heard of.

Oh well maybe its a ROAD TRIPPPP. With prostitutes?

Ritchie (Alessandro Nivola) is a health inspector and living the life with his girlfriend, Maggie (Amanda Peet). Nice. Good job, good pay, good living. Until he gets fired for lying on his resume about spending some years in jail earlier in his life. Maggie didn’t know this either, or that he lied about his dad being dead. Because he isn’t dead! Just dead to him. Something poetic. So Maggie leaves him too.

Apparently his dad, Nat (Christopher Walken) is dying from a tumor, and doesn’t have long to live. But he is apparently a bad guy, who has conned people his whole life. He even gets buy spending at most $5 a day, pretty nice. So Ritchie flies from LA to Atlantic City to be with his dad, who convinces him to go on a road trip to New Mexico for a potential cure. Oh fine.

Just along the way they have to drive in a sweet’n low car, and get free gas as long as they stop at Chevron stations. With hundreds of fake IDs giving him pretty much every birthday of the year, they are able to strategically eat at IHOPs for free! Crafty guy. Along the way they stay in abandoned houses, con some more people, run into their old baby sitter (Sharon Stone) and maybe even get lots of cash over a question of paternity.

What? Could Nat maybe not even be Ritchie’s real father, an exceptionally long con?

I bet when you saw Walken’s name, you knew he’d dance at some point in the movie.

TL;DR Version is this is a road trip movie about a dad and son, before the dad dies, rekindling their relationship, and also shenanigans.

But really I didn’t find it entertaining at all. Lots of cons happen, but to normal regular people who doesn’t deserve it (it feels like). So the main guy is just a jerk, and his son is a jerk too by helping. And that is about it. A 90 minute movie about jerks jerkin’. Yes, I do have a way with words.

This is just more of Christopher Walken playing the stereotype of himself, I think.

1 out of 4.


Roland Emmerich. You all know him. He brought us the new Godzilla, Day After Tomorrow, and 10,000 BC. Sure, he also brought us Independence Day, but some people don’t like that (I do!). But not really the others. All over CGI’d disaster films (like ID4. Shh) or just overly CGI’d mess, if not a disaster. So, as expected, 2012 is pretty much the exact same thing.

“Welcome to Earth!” – Will Smith, narrating the movie.

Plot of the movie is simple enough to grasp. 2012 in December is the end of the world. Why? Mayans “predicted” it. Or they just stopped caring at least. Oh shit though. Large solar flares fucking up the earth. I think melting the core (err) or something, causing crustal shifts and other problems. Oh man, the poles end up switching, land breaks apart, and so many earthquakes guys. This leads to Yellowstone blowing up (a supervolcano) and a lot of tsunami’s from the earthquakes.

There ya go.

Some people knew this may happen a long time ago. So they began making “Arcs” to hold the rich, the powerful, and the brilliant, to recreate the world once all this shit happens. John Cusack, who was camping with his son and daughter in Yellowstone, heard crazy old Woody Harrelson talking about it all, and started to believe him. Similarly, GEOPHYSICIST played by Chiwetel Ejiofor is trying to get DC to evacuate and stuff.

We also have Danny Glover as the president, who is getting two old for this evacuation shit, and his daughter, Thandie Newton. Who else? None other than Oliver Platt as vague political guy who wants to save himself. Amanda Peet plays Cusack’s ex wife and Thomas McCarthy as new husband, boob doctor.

That is probably enough.

So as expected, this movie is a mess. It is actually 2.5 hours long, so you will get your disaster on hard and you will get it on long. I am a big fan of a geophysicist not only being an important part of the movie, but also a strong moral leader for the other characters. Normally since geophysicist are usually seen as godless people anyways, its good that this one could be that and a good person.

What else was kick ass? Woody Harrelson as crazy conspiracy nut.

Woody Harrelson
Neither left nor right wing, this guy isn’t even a bird.

So what was the bad parts? I could do a long article about how scientifically some stuff is stupid. But I won’t. But seriously? The supervolcano was actually UNDER exaggerated when it exploded. Which is crazy for any movie to do, but I guess they wanted to have a plot afterwards as well.

But a bigger complaint to have, that in terms of “Disasters” they used the same device three times to show panic and running away. Meaning, on three separate occasions, with the same group of people, there was a panic to hurry and have their plane take off with not much runway. Three. Times. In a row, actually. Every place they went, until the final “oh now its hard to land” scene. There wasn’t much creativity there at all. Very aggravating.

Effects were okay. Kind of got tired of them killing off people just for the sake of killing someone, instead of any good real disaster reason. (See: When they first get on the Arc).

Oh well.

1 out of 4.

Gulliver’s Travels

“Whoa whoa whoa,” Says I as I read the back of the cover. “How can this movie be only 85 minutes? To do a good Gulliver’s Travels, you should probably do at least 3 hours, honestly! What is this,” Asks I, “Does he only go to the small people and big people island?”

Ron Hermoine
That’d be like writing the ginger and hotchick out of the Harry Potter movies.

Yes is my response, and yes is the unfortunate truth. And by big people island, he barely does that. This movie isn’t even close to the book, so it’s ridiculous to share the name. Made for kids. Pah. I think they just wanted to have the break out of being tied down scene, which they could do anyways with creative common licenses by now. 12 or so minutes was wasted getting to the island, and then the rest of the movie, just him and the little people.

I liked all the big names down there. Hah. Big Names. Jason Segel played the tallest of the little people. And the evil general (Chris O’Dowd) for most of the film, until treason, I just felt sorry for. It could just be because he was my favorite part of Bridesmaids and did very well here too.

I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess something that actually used some of the source material, not just what anyone would be able to tell me about the movie. There is a lot of interesting stuff there, and they will probably just make a bunch of sequels, doing bad versions of them too. The only reason I am giving it a higher rating than 1 is because I liked the rendition of War. Sounded fake, but watching them all dance in unison with a tall Amanda Peet was awkward and good.

Just please don’t ever try to tell me Jack Black would make a legitimate world traveler/writer ever again.

Tenacious D
Unless he is writing more music and traveling for a band tour. I am fine with that.

2 out of 4.