Writer-director Leslye Headland has made a film that is saucy and sweet, for the boys and for the girls -- an R-rated Seinfeld, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Screenwriter-director Leslye Headland has an ear for dialogue and offbeat characters, but the film never feels fresh or engaging.
It's obvious where "Sleeping with Other People" is going; the fun is in getting there.
Sudeikis' smooth charisma and Brie's wide-eyed charm almost carry the film, but while Headland bravely chooses to skip certain expected rom-com beats, she also fails to earn certain rom-com payoffs.
Headland refuses to redeem her characters, which is what makes "Sleeping With Other People" ultimately more interesting than other rom-coms.
"Sleeping With Other People" is one of the best and funniest recent attempts to update the rom-com - but the container feels too antiquated for the world it captures, which is so furiously alive.
The desperation to overdo everything ruins what might otherwise have been a charming little rom-com, with likable stars, great co-stars, and some sharp bits of dialogue.
If there's a way to charm us with the approach, Headland (writer of 2014's "About Last Night" update) never really finds it, squandering the appeal of leads Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie.
As we watch changes of conscience emerge and moral comeuppance arrive, this freewheeling alternative to the standard date movie emerges as one of the year's best surprises.