Seeing Other People (2004)
Main cast: Jay Mohr (Ed), Julianne Nicholson (Alice), Lauren Graham (Claire), Bryan Cranston (Peter), Josh Charles (Lou), Andy Richter (Carl), and Matthew Davis (Donald)
Director: Wallace Wolodarsky

Alice and Ed are two normal if beautiful people who have been engaged for five years and are about to get hitched soon. However, Alice feels that something is missing in their relationship while, Ed, being a man, naturally is content to just let things remain the way they are. A quickie between a bridesmaid and a waiter that her sister Claire accidentally witnessed leads Alice to a bizarre epiphany: she and Ed have never actually lived on the sexual fast lane so she decides that it is only right that she and Ed see other people before they get married so long as they are "honest" with each other about seeing other people.

Ed is reluctant but Alice quickly settles into an affair with a sleazy handyman Donald. Eventually Ed realizes that his job in TV allows him to meet all kinds of women willing to do anything for a chance to be on a TV show and just as he settles into life on the fast lane with the sexually adventurous Sandy, Alice gets burned and selfishly decides that she wants them to get back together again as before. But Ed is on the roll and suddenly Alice's suggestion is making plenty of sense. Has Alice lost Ed for good?

Seeing Other People starts out a pretty humorous dark comedy about gender stereotypes but it ends up being a tired reinforcement of these stereotypes, offering nothing new to the table other than some cheap laughs at the main characters' expense. Alice and Ed are likable if dim-witted people at first but by the end of the movie they have both become so unlikable and selfish that perversely I hope they do get back again so that the rest of the dating pool will be spared of their stupidity.

The cast are fine, with Jay Mohr even going the extra mile to hit the gym and show everyone his pert bare behind. That or they have a fine butt double for him, I suppose. Julianne Nicholson projects the right amount of naivete to make Alice likable at first despite her being such a daft cow while Mr Mohr uses his usual comic ability to a good degree. However, Lauren Graham and Josh Charles really steal the show with her playing the cynical and bored wife and he the Lothario who end up being more right for each other than they or anyone else would expect. If you ever suspect that Lorelai Gilmore can be a complete bitch, watching this movie will cement your suspicions, heh. Also, as the movie continues it gives a disproportionately large airtime to highlight good friend Carl's domestic bliss, as if this movie wants to give the audience someone nice to focus on as Ed and Alice become increasingly psychotic. That is an understandable move, I suppose, but I'd rather see the movie try to salvage Ed and Alice instead of distracting me with Carl.

Seeing Other People starts out a dark and promising satirical comedy on gender warfare but by the end of the movie it is reduced to being a superficial movie with a "see how the stupid people hang themselves" punchline. This movie is probably too long because the main characters' tomfoolery feels really played out by the time the movie moves past its first hour. The cast is great but the script needs some work. The movie is nowhere near as smart or funny as it imagines itself to be.

Rating: 74

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