Just Friends

Romantic Comedy. Obese high schooler grows up, gets hot and successful, comes back home 10 years later and tries to bed the only woman he loved in high school, who loved him as JUST FRIENDS. To anyone who has ever experienced this terror of “just friends,” and I have a couple times in life (including with my wife, who I finally caught), this movie rings with deep truth – and humor. A bit crass at times, but more restrained than say, Wedding Crashers or 40-Year Old Virgin. Chris, who loved Jamie, but was not loved back with the romance that he felt, goes away, gets ripped, gets successful in the music business and becomes promiscuous with women, since his rejection taught him true love was not possible. So when he ends up in his home town, rediscovering his old flame, he tries to catch her for all the wrong reasons: Just to bed her, just to bring closure sexually. But he soon discovers that he is still in love with her. Unfortunately, he is not a quality person who deserves her because of his promiscuous lifestyle which he must learn to reject. And what is really great is how his rival, Dusty, is a reflection of Chris, with the same dorky high school crush on Jamie, but now, Dusty is everything Chris is not, a dashing Paramedic who saves Jamie, plays the guitar, works at the hospital with old people, gives concerts to children in churches. He’s too perfect, too manly and too sensitive for Chris to compete with – until he realizes that its all a scam by Dusty to bed women. So the cool redemption in this story is Chris seeing himself in Dusty and seeing what a louse his promiscuous using of women really is. What I didn’t like about this movie is the Rock and Roll Slut that Chris, as record producer, had to pacify on his stay in his home town. In one sense it was a great mockery of the insanity and sheer immaturity of the Rock Star world. They made great fun of her. She’s stupid, bawdy, ignorant, uncultured and insensitive. But she’s also horny and one of the subplots is Chris’s younger brother trying to sleep with her. This stuff was inappropriate. HOWEVER, it is interesting that he never does sleep with the rock star girl which is really rather moral, since he is only like 18, and usually movies fulfill that male fantasy with its irresponsible sexuality. The fact that he does not sleep with her is quite a positive moral statement. It was also cool that once Chris gets the opportunity to sleep with Jamie, he doesn’t – because he knows it is wrong to use her in that way. They never have sex and his return to her involves the desire to marry and have children with her, so it is a rather Christian morality to the story. A promiscuous man learns that true love is possible and promiscuity is irresponsible using of women.

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