Just Friends

What kind of fat, lardy dumbass who looks like some alien transmutation of Richard Simmons and an enormous squash would think that he ever -- and I mean ever -- had a snowball's chance in hell of bedding Amy Smart?

This just goes to show anyone who's paying attention that movies are written by men, for men and about men -- and not one of these men has even a modicum of common sense when it comes to women. The premise of this film is that Chris (Ryan Reynolds) fell for Jamie (Amy Smart) when they were best friends in high school. If only men would recognize that "best friends" is a euphemism for "I don't want to sleep with you," but of course, Chris misinterprets the friends zone as love and gets shot down.

Ultimately, this rejection leads to Chris getting his life together, slimming down, and becoming a womanizer. And yes, it's all Jamie's fault. Some ten years later, Chris is a hot shot record producer. When his plane breaks down and they're forced to land in New Jersey, it affords him the opportunity to revisit the rejection that changed his life and to conquer the once unconquerable woman.

Two things are going against Chris: He's clueless and he's shuttling overbearing, self-absorbed, singing superstar Samantha James (Anna Faris) around. Not only is Samantha annoying, but she's also one of Chris's former girlfriends. Now, one would think that pairing Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris together again after their work in "Waiting," a film that left the theater faster than Richard Roeper after an ipecac sundae, would give a filmmaker pause. Not here.

Samantha wants to bed Chris who wants to bed Jamie who's impressively working at a local diner and living with her parents. Why is it the beautiful women always need to be saved? She might be a professional failure, but she's hot, so who cares. Unfortunately for Chris, he's got competition for Jamie's attention in the form of Dusty (Chris Klein) another high school loser who's turned himself around. They end up in a battle to see who can play the bigger nice guy because both think that's the key to Jaime's heart.

It should be no surprise that the film ends with Jamie and Chris finally recognizing their shared love. Now, would Jamie have felt that same way if Chris was still fat? Of course not, she would have gone with Dusty or with somebody else who was thin, beautiful and successful. Consequently, the movie faithfully adheres to a typical, tired, offensive Hollywood formula that gives women about as much credit for the decisions they make as dirt clods:

Looks + money = pussy.

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