Just Friends


Just Friends is a mish mash of slapstick moments strung together by a rather tenuous romcom narrative, with a little bit of ‘fat humour’ thrown in. Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris appear in the same film again (see Waiting…), but it seems that there was no director present this time to, um… direct.Just Friends Reynolds is all over the place, and in every scene trying to upstage his costars, and the usually brilliant Faris is similarly in need of reigning in, with her typically hilarious performance going just that little bit too far. Amy Smart (Starsky & Hutch) is thankfully more restrained, as (unfortunately for her) purely the object of other characters’ affections. Chris Klein delivers the only exciting performance, mainly because it is completely at odds with his previous ‘dorky nice guy’ roles.

Inconsistency is the name of the game with Just Friends. There is no balance to proceedings, and the plot clunks over to the next stage whenever there is a gap in the wacky hijinks. As a romantic comedy this dud fails. Whilst I did want the lead couple of get together, the ending wasn’t the slightest bit believable, and it simply seemed beyond the writer to justify exactly why such a conclusion could occur.

Just Friends is sporadically amusing, the most hilarious moments coming from Reynolds’ and Chris Marquette’s fraternal violence, but the slapstick isn’t enough to carry the whole 96 minutes. The central premise of the film – an analysis of what does and doesn’t constitute intersex friendships, and the rules that bind them – was surely fertile ground for a great romcom (even if it’s been done before *cough When Harry Met Sally cough*). Alas the script by no means does justice to this idea, as concepts and theories are haphazardly waved in front of our faces during the first half, then completely ignored later on.

Watch it on DVD if nothing better is on offer.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 15th February 2006
Hoopla Factor: 2.0 stars

Jarhead Syriana