September 2, 2016
Review #838: Just Friends.
Ryan Reynolds (Chris Brander), Amy Smart (Jamie Palamino), Anna Faris (Samantha James), Chris Klein (Dusty Lee Dinkleman), Christopher Marquette (Mike Brander), Julie Hagerty (Carol Brander), Stephen Root (KC), Fred Ewanuick (Clark), and Amy Matysio (Darla) Directed by Roger Kumble.
Have you ever heard of the friend zone? If you said yes, congratulations, you get to suffer through a turgid movie based on that term. If you said no, congratulations, you get to suffer through a boring movie based off that term. Look, being friends with someone is great, because then you don't have much to lose when you do something embarrassing in their midst, like doing anything from this movie.
It manages to fail at being a romance and a comedy because it's never interesting in the former case, and it's never anything other than boring in the latter case. The biggest problem in the movie is the plot itself, because who could possibly root for a main character like this? This might've been better as a dark comedy, or even a drama, but that's asking too much, I guess. The other big problem is that the characters seem to just act weirdly different from scene to scene, which makes the scenes between Reynolds and Smart especially perplexing. It doesn't help that there's a love triangle (of course) that only makes the inevitable ending sloggier. There's never a scene where it clicks that these two should actually be together. Reynolds is at least somewhat entertaining, but his chemistry with Smart actually manages to have less spark than his chemistry with Faris, the only other person that seems to be trying in this movie. She has a good deal of pep for a character that doesn't really get much plot development. The supporting cast isn't much to talk about, either. (except Julie Hagerty, only because it makes me want to watch her in Airplane! (#664) again) It's not so much the gags aren't funny as they just aren't that much to work up frustration over (there is, however, a sort of strange satisfaction in not seeing The Notebook before seeing this film). If you've seen one person in a fat suit, you've seen them all, and it doesn't make the movie any funnier in the little time it's used. If you've seen one romantic comedy, you've seen them all, and this one really is no different, with an ending that makes sense if you live in opposite world. Or if you're a writer looking for a way to reconcile two characters without giving much reason to. Look, if you're looking for a movie with Ryan Reynolds having a decent amount of charm or a good romantic comedy...see Deadpool (#779) instead. You want my advice? Go watch another movie with a friend.
Overall, I give it 4 out of 10 stars.