Just Friends - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: The Making of Just Friends (11 Behind-the-scenes featurettes totalling approx 1hr). Jamie Smiles Music Video. Alternate Ending. 5 Deleted Scenes (10mins approx). Blooper Reel. Trailer.
IT’S hard to be anything but unfriendly towards this latest Ryan Reynolds ‘comedy’ such is the mean-spirited nature of most of the proceedings.
Roger Kumble’s movie is so desperate for laughs that it puts its stars through pretty much anything in a bid to generate some cheer, resulting in a completely feel-bad experience for all but the most sadistically-minded.
Reynolds stars as Chris Brander, a super-fit ladies man and Hollywood music executive, who is still scarred by the trauma he experienced as a fat kid at high school who harboured an unrequited crush on his best friend, Jamie (Amy Stuart).
When he is asked to accompany new singing prospect Samantha James (Anna Faris) to Paris, circumstances force him to return to his hometown for the first time since he was humiliated on the night he let his feelings known to Jamie.
So with the painfully annoying Samantha in tow (who just happens to be an ex), Chris attempts to find Jamie and give her a taste of what she has been missing but finds himself hindered by the same feelings of awkwardness that ruined his chances first time around.
And to make matters worse, he is forced to contend with an overly abusive brother (Christopher Marquette) as well as a potential love-rival in the form of another old college mate (Chris Klein), now an over-sensitive ambulance driver.
Taking its cue from the comedy style of the Farrelly brothers, Just Friends proceeds to place its main protagonists in all manner of embarrassing situations most of which you can see coming a mile off.
Hence, Chris finds himself hopelessly out of his depth while attempting to impress at a children’s ice hockey match and inadvertently destroys the lavish Christmas decorations put out every year by Jamie’s family.
In between such catastrophes, he is constantly coming to blows with his brother (for no apparent reason) and forced to find new and increasingly absurd ways of getting Samantha out of the picture.
The result is a film that not only becomes repetitive and painful to watch but which is over-populated by useless and annoying characters.
A quick look down the resumé of director Kumble reveals that he was also responsible for The Sweetest Thing, another dire comedy starring Cameron Diaz.
It seems that his aptitude for laughter has not improved for Just Friends is certain to leave you feeling far from amiable after you’ve seen it.
Running time: 96 minutes