Synopsis: What happens when a man and his best friend both love his wife? Plenty of wildly funny, intense and shocking party conversation! Craig Sheffer, Eric Stoltz and Meg Tilly explore contemporary romance and relationships over six social events in “the most original romantic comedy of the year” (Movies & Videos). Featuring a “superb” ensemble cast (The Hollywood Reporter) and brilliant cameos by Parker Posey, June Lockhart and Quentin Tarrentino, Sleep With Me is a “raucously funny” film (Newsday)!
Joseph (Stoltz) has finally professed his love for Sarah (Tilly). Unfortunately, so has his best friend Frank (Sheffer)! Bad timing, yes, but for whom? Frank’s heartfelt admission bewitches Sarah, bothers Joseph and bewilders their friends, who have no problem expressing their own often hilarious opinions of this bizarre love triangle.
Sleep With Me 7.0
I’ve known about ‘Sleep With Me’ for many years, but, despite a nice cast, I wasn’t taken with its story of a love triangle between two close friends and the woman they both want. It sounded like something I’d seen countless times before and the inevitable melodrama promised me tedium.
But, lately, as I’ve been in the mood to explore different relationship models, I walked over to my local purveyor of second-hand DVDs and dug up a bunch of stuff that fit the bill. This one came up (a couple of times, in fact), and I decided that perhaps I should have a go at it once and for all.
As expected, the film traipses onto well-worn melodramatic paths. However, it peppered the dialogue, the situations, and even the performances, with humour; it’s primarily a drama, but there is a lot of subtle humour along the way. So I guess one should call it a dramedy.
The film is primarily rooted in its dialogue; there really isn’t much action or enough happening for it to come across as exciting or thrilling. In fact, most of the scenes are set around tables or involve dinners or parties at each other’s house. Thankfully, the script is solid and the actors pull it off with ease.
The primary trio of Joseph, Sarah and Frank was well cast. Even if they’re not all my favourite actors, they got on perfectly and defined the core dynamics very well. I even liked the bit players, some of whom, Like Joey Lauren Adams and Parker Posey, eventually made a name for themselves (I enjoyed Posey for the first time in ‘Sleep With Me’. Let me be clear: I’ve always respected her skill, but she often plays a grating caricature that I have a hard time appreciating. Not so here).
My favourite of all the actors has got to be Eric Stoltz. I’ve always quite liked him, for whatever reason (must be his gorgeous red hair! I’m so bloody jealous… ). He’s not an actor I’m enamoured with, but every time he’s on the screen you know he will deliver. Plus which he tends to make intriguing choices.
It’s such a shame that he didn’t get the career breaks he deserved; he’s working, but I’ve long felt that he should have been a more prominent player. When I think of the fact that he got booted out of ‘Back to the Future’ (and was replaced by Michael J. Fox), played one of the central characters in ‘Some Kind of Wonderful (one of the inexplicably less popular John Hughes films), was the protagonist in the flop sequel to the massively successful remake of ‘The Fly’ and also landed the lead in the failed ‘Caprica’ series (which should have been a hit, based on the unbelievable popularity of its predecessor, ‘Battlestar Galactica’), it makes me wonder if hasn’t been unusually unlucky.
‘Sleep With Me’ was also co-produced by Stoltz. It’s a low-budget affair, but it isn’t lacking for anything – it fulfills the screenplay’s ambition admirably well. I especially enjoyed their use of b&w footage when they filmed the newlyweds’ guests’ tributes to them as well as Frank’s off-the-cuff interviews with their friends; not only did it provide insight into Frank’s character, but it helped to change things up in an otherwise fairly standard-looking film.
Overall, ‘Sleep With Me’ makes for a tasty enough concoction that would likely play very well to fans of independent cinema. My only real beef is with (what is to me) the tired drama, but anyone who are into that sort of scenario would likely appreciate the way it was put together and delivered.
As for the humour, my impression is that I might have laughed more if I had seen ‘Sleep With Me’ with other people – so I think I should try that out sometime. It may also simply grow on me over time, much like more subtle fare like ‘Clockwork’ did. I will no doubt give it the opportunity to.