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UKScreen Rating:

Just Friends – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Chris (Reynolds) was the fat kid that everyone picked on at his small-town school – everyone except Jamie (Smart), the most beautiful cheerleader, who was the target of the affections of the school quarterback. Chris had a bit of an obsession over her – but for Jamie, they would only ever be “just friends.”
Jump forward a few years and Chris now cuts a dashing figure as a big-city record company executive, ordered to babysit Samantha James (Faris), the kind of talentless popstar who’d be more at home on Celebrity Big Brother than on the stage.
One of those odd cinematic quirks of fate finds Chris and Samantha stranded in his home town. With a new, carefree philosophy on love, when he bumps into Jamie in a bar, Chris plays it cooler than the weather outside.
Will she fancy him now? Will he still fancy her? Will he throw away his chance of love by sticking to his newfound womanising ways? Will he lose her to a suitably smarmy local love rival (Klein)? Will Chris’s younger brother be able to contain his excitement at having his pin-up girl staying in the next room?
Don’t even bother thinking about the answers. They’re all no-brainers. This isn’t a film about plot. It’s about unsubtle, bawdy humour, but surprisingly, the film-makers actually manage to pull it off – just.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

It’s been a while since the lower echelons of American sex-farce comedies have been unleashed on our screens.
While this is every bit as corny and crude as likes of American Pie, while nothing like as sharp or insightful, it’s actually far warmer and funnier as it has any right to be.
There’ll be no prizes for pre-empting the gags, as they’re just about as obvious as any you’ll ever have seen.
But no matter how much you try to scoff at the humour, you’ll find yourself chuckling at the slapstick and even feeling for the Ryan Reynolds as he makes one wrong decision after another.
It’s certainly neither big nor clever. But it’s embarrassingly charming – it’s like the cream cake you’ll keep in your lunch box until no-one’s looking.

Opens nationwide on 6th January 2006

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