Jason Sudeikis is showing his range at Tribeca in “Sleeping with Other People”

Jason Sudeikis
I really love seeing an actor prove that they have another side to themselves, especially when it’s a comedic performer showing off their dramatic chops. At the current incarnation of the Tribeca Film Festival, Jason Sudeikis has two different projects that have him stretching in exciting new ways. One is Tumbledown, but the one I want to rave a bit about today is Sleeping with Other People, a romantic comedy that has fantastic things to offer in the genre, all with a heaping helping of sex humor and, perhaps unexpectedly, effective drama too. It’s anchored by Sudeikis, who has quite frankly never been better than here.

To sum up the film in short…it’s a rather fresh take on the “friends who should be lovers” sub genre of the rom-com. Sudeikis plays a womanizer who befriends a woman played by Alison Brie who he briefly met and slept with in college. They both trace their current sexual commitment issues to that meeting and pledge to become friends, with no benefits. They frankly discuss their sex lives and give each other guidance. It all goes swimmingly, until of course it becomes apparent that feelings are developing. It sounds rote, but trust me when I say that it’s not. In addition to Brie and the aforementioned Sudeikis, the cast includes Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, and a whole host of solid supporting players. Lesyle Headland writes and directs.

Sudeikis gets to play both inside and outside of his comfort zone here. When he’s required to be funny, it’s often in the type of wheelhouse he usually hangs out in. It’s hilarious to watch, but it’s merely a better version of what he’s done for years now. It’s when the drama and romance kicks in that you see how good of a leading man he is. You almost believe him more when he’s serious. Part of this is how well he’s paired with Brie, but a lot of it is just his skills on display. I was incredibly impressed and want to see more of this from him in the future.

Going forward, I hope Sudeikis pursues challenging material like Sleeping with Other People. If he does, I don’t think it’s completely out of the question to say that he might one day become an Academy Award nominee. The talent is there, in abundance. With his charisma, the sky is the limit. If we see more of this from him, he’s going to become an A-lister, and not just for big budget comedies. Perhaps working with Headland again is what should be the focus, but I’m not his agent, as we all know. I’m just taken with what I saw in this festival flick and want more of it.

I’ll have lots more to say about Sleeping with Other People, both when Tribeca ends soon as well as this summer when it hits theaters, but today I wanted to fete Sudeikis a bit for his work in the film. He’s aces an deserves some acclaim. The movie is great on its own, but he helps to elevate it. With any luck, it’ll get noticed in a big way. I know I’ll do my part. Sudeikis is currently in contention for a spot on my mid year best of 2015 list (yes, I’m already thinking about that, and in case you’re wondering, Brie, Headland, and the film itself would show up as well), so that should tell you how impressed I was. Don’t miss his work in the movie when it opens in a few months. Trust me, I won’t let you sleep on this one…

Stay tuned for more on Sleeping with Other People!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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