A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sleeping with Other People is a romcom that's heavy on sexual content. It centers on a man (Jason Sudeikis) and a woman (Alison Brie) who struggle with monogamy and end up becoming platonic friends, even though they're very open about their mutual attraction. Characters talk a lot about sex, and there are several long, suggestive sex scenes -- and plenty of women in their underwear -- but no actual graphic nudity. Expect frequent swearing (especially "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k"), and scenes in which characters drink, smoke cigarettes, and -- in one long sequence -- take Ecstasy while at a child's birthday party.
What's the story?
Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) have each destroyed every relationship they've ever had because they have trouble with monogamy -- he sleeps with just about anyone, while she's been having an affair for years with a married doctor. When the two meet (at a meeting for sex addicts), it's clear they're attracted to each other, but they decide not to fall into bed so they can instead try to form a healthy platonic friendship. Soon they become best friends, even while SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE. It's clear their attraction is still growing, but it's less clear whether they'll ever act on those feelings. Or if they should.
Is it any good?
Thank heavens for chemistry; Sudeikis and Brie make this somewhat relatable movie work. Who among us hasn't had an amorphous on-again, off-again crush on the same person that's lasted for years? Brie is so especially charming that we wind up cheering for her even though she is, for lack of a better description, a mess.
What's less realistic is how convoluted the situations that Jake and Lainey find themselves in are. And then there's the gendered one-sidedness of Jake and Lainey's dynamic: He finds himself by continuing to sleep with many women, while her path through means steering clear of most everyone. The ending is as you'd expect, but it's still fun to see the movie arrive at its destination, if only because we've been rooting for Lainey to find happiness.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Sleeping with Other People depicts sex and relationships. What role does love play in the equation? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on these topics.
Do you think Jake and Lainey's issues are realistic? Why do they decide not to sleep with each other? How does that decision underpin their friendship? Do you think it seems sensible?
How does this film compare to other romcoms -- like, say, When Harry Met Sally? Do you think think it follows the standard formula?
- In theaters: September 11, 2015
- On DVD or streaming: January 5, 2016
- Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Amanda Peet, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne
- Director: Leslye Headland
- Studio: IFC Films
- Genre: Romance
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, language including sexual references, and some drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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