Sleeping with Other People (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 16-Mar-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 101:02
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Leslye Headland
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Alison Brie
Jason Sudeikis
Amanda Peet
Jason Mantzoukas
Natasha Lyonne
Adam Scott
Katherine Waterston
Adam Brody
Marc Blucas
Margaret Odette
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $29.95 Music Andrew Feltenstein
John Nau


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Alternate Audio DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Sleeping with Other People is a contemporary version of the When Harry Met Sally premise, as it explores similar themes and ideas to the landmark 1989 romantic comedy, but is far raunchier and edgier. Itís probably the best of its kind since 2011ís Friends with Benefits, and it helps that the central characters do seem like real human beings with shortcomings and feelings. Laughs may be spotty, but the actors remain on point all the way through, and pacing is constantly agreeable. Itís never a chore to sit through.

††† Randomly meeting in college, Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) bond as they talk about sex, and wind up losing their virginities to one another, but they fail to stay in touch after their sexual encounter. Over a decade later, Jake has developed into a sex addict and a serial cheater, unable to find a woman with whom he wants to have a proper relationship. Lainey, meanwhile, is obsessed with college buddy Matthew (Adam Scott), an engaged doctor who sleeps with her but has no interest in a relationship. Running into each other at a support group meeting for love addicts, Lainey and Jake reconnect and immediately hit it off, but mutually agree to remain platonic friends since both of them have sabotaged every romantic relationship theyíve ever been in. Itís a well-intentioned prospect at the outset, with the two happily spending time together and discussing each othersí love interests and sexual trysts, but they begin to develop an undeniable bond.

††† Headland does borrow liberally from When Harry Met Sally, right down to lines like ďmen and women canít be friends,Ē and even observing Lainey and Jake texting each other in bed, an apparent update of the phone conversations shared by the two leads in Rob Reinerís rom-com. But Headland goes a step further, rooting the central story in the serious issue of love and sex addiction, which gives the story a fresh perspective. Naturally, Sleeping with Other People is not as smart or as incisive as When Harry Met Sally, but Headlandís script does manage to provide some amusing observations about relationships, sex and love. The big problem, though, is that although it does try to avoid many of the hoariest chestnuts of the rom-com genre, the storyís outcome and many of the primary plot points are predictable. And since Headland does strive for candidness, this does seem to clash with her intentions.

††† Even though the narrative is very middle-of-the-road, Sleeping with Other People does provide a few moments of definite inspiration and comedic brilliance. One notable non-sequitur sees Jake and Lainey dropping ecstasy at a kidsí birthday party and dancing with children to the tune of David Bowieís ďModern Love.Ē And in another scene clearly inspired by Meg Ryanís restaurant orgasm, Jake teaches Lainey how to effectively masturbate, demonstrating on a juice bottle. For the most part, though, Headland relies on mild wit as opposed to juvenile antics in order to score laughs, keeping at least one foot planted in reality. Indeed, even in spite of the R rating, it doesnít feel like a mean-spirited Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen flick.

††† Although not as conventionally attractive as the likes of Zac Efron or Justin Timberlake, Sudeikis is a wonderfully endearing comedic lead, and heís versatile to boot, delivering vicious sarcasm and blasť snark whilst always coming across as warm and genial. And when the script calls for drama, Sudeikis handles it with assurance. Best of all, however, he shares wonderful chemistry with Brie, whoís adorably perfect as Lainey. Sheís disarming whenever sheís on-screen, and she manages to make her character seem genuine. Itís so delightful to watch Brie and Sudeikis share the screen that the movie comparatively drags whenever theyíre apart. These two seriously need to take more roles like this. In the supporting cast, Jason Mantzoukas makes a positive impression as Jakeís best friend Xander, while Adam Scott is fairly muted (by design) in a minor role as Laineyís object of infatuation.

††† It doesnít touch the dizzying heights of When Harry Met Sally (what movie can?), but Sleeping with Other People is a pleasant enough rom-com distraction, even if it is wholly predictable at the end of the day. Besides, it does have a heart-warming message in that some people do find others who ďgetĒ them, and those are the ones to embrace in whatever capacity that works. Sweet and often candid, Sleeping with Other People is one of the more enjoyable entries in this genre for some time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Madman brings Sleeping with Other People to Blu-ray in 1080p high definition, with a transfer thatís framed at the movieís original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Despite being a new release, this is a distinctly average presentation, lacking the crispness and precision of all the best titles on the format. The movie was filmed digitally using the Arri Alexa, which usually makes for a natural, cinematic image, but Sleeping with Other People looks pretty soft and flat on the whole. Itís not awful, but it is middle-of-the-road.

††† The main issue with this transfer is smoothness and smeariness. This may be traceable to the original photography or post-production techniques, but the image looks too smooth overall, and detail is distinctly mediocre. In fact, detail is only a few notches above that of a standard DVD, which is disappointing. Some scenes fare better than others, and clarity is never an issue, but itís hard to find many truly impressive moments throughout the movie which show the real benefits of high definition.

††† Thankfully, sharpness is usually pretty good, and colours remain vibrant and stable throughout. And even though it does look as if digital noise reduction was applied, the encode does not fall victim to any unfortunate anomalies - there is no black crush, aliasing, banding, or any other bothersome issues. Despite its undeniable shortcomings, this is still a watchable transfer thatís preferable to a DVD. Nevertheless, even though this is just a romantic comedy and nobody expected a reference-quality presentation, I would at least expect a more refined image from a 2015 production.

††† No subtitles are available.


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† News is better on the audio front, with a very respectable DTS-HD MA 5.1 track that fulfils its purpose with confidence. This isnít an especially layered mix since Sleeping with Other People is more concerned with dialogue than anything else, but there are times when the track does impress, such as a nightclub scene with live music. For the most part, however, the film observes characters talking to one another, and the dialogue usually comes through clearly, though it is a tad soft from time to time. The music is also clear, and I did not detect any encoding issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† A surprisingly beefy selection of extras, though I would have liked an audio commentary to really top off the package.

Cast & Crew Interviews (HD)

††† A whole heap of cast and crew interviews are available to view here, which are distinctly EPK in nature, with the participants being asked an array of questions relating to the movie. In fact, this appears to just be the movieís electronic press kit. The interviews appear to have been taken on-set between takes, as crew can be seen in the background moving equipment, and the actors mention when scenes havenít been filmed yet. There are some nice titbits here, but none of these snippets are truly substantive (both Amanda Peet and Katherine Waterston have very little to say). Still, Iíll take it over a barebones disc. These can only be selected and watched individually.

Behind the Scenes (HD; 13:29)

††† Rather than a featurette, this is simply thirteen minutes of raw behind-the-scenes footage, mostly from the birthday party sequence. The actors are shown rehearsing and interacting with director Headland, and the filming of a few moments is shown, too. I found this interesting, as it shows the general on-set environment, and gives you an idea about how painstaking the filmmaking process can be. A decent featurette could probably have been carved from the raw interviews and behind-the-scenes footage on this disc, but I cannot complain about getting to watch all the raw material available.

Theatrical Trailer (HD; 2:26)

††† Curiously, this trailer has a different colour scheme and looks noticeably more detailed than the presentation of the film on this disc.

Madman Propaganda (HD; 14:37)

††† The usual reel of previews. We have an anti-piracy ad, and trailers for Spooks: The Greater Good, Ruben Guthrie, Life of Crime, What We Do In The Shadows, The Young And Prodigious T.S Spivet, Jimi - All Is By My Side, and Partisan.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † Sleeping with Other People did not see an official Blu-ray release in the US, only receiving a barebones rental exclusive. It was released in Canada, but that disc is reportedly barebones. Thus, with Madman providing a solid hour of bonus material, our disc is the clear winner by a long shot.

Summary

††† If you enjoyed Friends with Benefits and/or (500) Days of Summer, it's worth giving Sleeping with Other People a shot. It has its moments, and it doesn't insult your intelligence like most standard rom-coms. It deserved far better than its abysmal box office performance and† instantaneous slip into obscurity.

††† Madman's release is fine. Video is distinctly pedestrian, but audio is respectable and there's a decent supply of special features. Recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Monday, July 18, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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