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· 96 minutes
Directed by Roger Kumble
Written by Adam 'Tex' Davis
· Ryan Reynolds
· Anna Faris
· Chris Klein
· Amy Smart
I was faced with a decision on the weekend of December 3rd, 2005. Either stay home and do nothing, go see Rent with my parents, or go watch Just Friends by myself. After hearing terrible review after terrible review about Rent, I decided to take a chance with Just Friends, which is funny because if you look at the Rotten Tomatoes statistics Rent is at a 51% and Just Friends is at 44%. After seeing Just Friends, I can say that it didn’t move me, and didn’t change me in any aspect of my life. In the end it's just one of those films that goes like so: Fat kid (Ryan Reynolds) is friends with hot girl (Amy Smart), fat friend leaves hometown for a couple of years because hot girl is just friends with him, fat friend becomes skinny and comes back to hot girl, once a fat guy but now skinny guy gets together with hot girl, the end.
Anna Faris, playing Reynolds' pest of a girlfriend when he returns home, reminds me of Jim Carrey in The Cable Guy; she can be really annoying and ruin a movie that may have had some potential. Just Friends is the second movie this year where Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds have had leading roles together. As in Waiting… they are both not used to their highest potential. Amy Smart is another story. Ever since I first saw Amy Smart in 2001’s Rat Race, she and Kristanna Loken have been my two favorite actresses to watch one screen. She has a screen presence that cannot be described; it’s something that you have to see on screen to fully enjoy.
The director of Just Friends is Roger Krumble, who has directed porno hits-- I mean box office hits-- such as Cruel Intentions, Cruel Intentions 2: Manchester Prep, and The Sweetest Thing. Just Friends is Krumble’s first PG-13 film and it looks as if he had some trouble trying to not put a naked Anna Faris and/or Amy Smart in the film to keep it ‘teenager friendly’ so to speak.
For the hour and thirty-six minutes that was Just Friends, it felt like it went on as long as it took the make up team to put on Ryan Reynolds' 12 pound fat-face (4 hours). Just Friends is not easy to sit through. It gets pretty boring pretty quick. You think Chris (Reynolds) is done with Jamie (Smart) since he is about to leave, then he comes back, then he really leaves and arrives in L.A. and finds out what he did and how horrible it was, so then he goes back. Back and forth, back and forth, that’s what your going into with Just Friends.
In any of these romantic comedies nowadays there has to be some slapstick humor and you aren’t going to miss out on that in the film. You get the hockey game where Ryan Reynolds hits a couple of kids, you see Reynolds getting basically beat up every other scene whether he is in an ambulance and something falls on his crotch or he’s in a stretcher and the paramedics let him fall down an icy slope. Sure, there are a couple of laughs in Just Friends but nothing worth a trip to the movie theatre.
What to say about Just Friends and its writing by Adam ‘Tex’ Davis? Mostly all the conversations between characters are mundane and uninteresting. One of the things I really liked about the film, though, was the dialogue between Chris and his younger brother, Mike, played by Chris Marquette of The Girl Next Door. You actually get the feeling that they are brothers and that they have a playful bond with each other.
You know how the film is going to end, so why go and see it? Maybe people think that Hollywood is going to start a new phase in films and that all the regular stereotypes in movies will change. Nope, that doesn’t happen here, and it won’t happen for a long while. People will keep going to see these films and wind up being disappointed and Hollywood will keep on making them. It's become a way of life.