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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Just Friends

Posted on Thu, Nov 24, 2005 at 4:00 AM

Just Friends
Studio: New Line Cinema
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 2005-11-23
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Ty Olsson
Director: Roger Kumble
Screenwriter: Adam "Tex" Davis
WorkNameSort: Just Friends
Our Rating: 1.50

One day, Ryan Reynolds will land in a film that makes full use of his talent for conveying quiet, wide-eyed mischievousness. In the meantime, we have to contend with lowballers like Just Friends, which takes a first-season Friends conceit – '80s-era fattie drops the pounds but carries an unrequited crush all the way into the present day – and drowns it in shrill obnoxiousness. It's a simple romance that thinks it's a wild young-adult romp, with Reynolds' slimmed-down, sexed-up music-biz exec trying to finally win the girl of his dreams while baby-sitting a voracious teen-pop harridan (Anna Faris, Reynolds' costar in the recent Waiting, exceeding the wide latitude for kvelling her new role would seem to entail). The handful of bright spots appear not to have been scripted but improvised on the set – like the pioneering use of the name "Mariah Carey!" as an expletive. Rolls rather trippingly off the tongue in a moment of crisis, I thought.


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