thatcow

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

I don't quote the Spice Girls for just any old review. I think I can safely assume this is the first time. And, rest assured, it may very well not happen again. I can the hear the sighs of relief now.

Seeing Other People is all about figuring out what you want, which is one of those unfathomable human difficulties. Especially when things are good, we get torn between what we think we want and what we think we're supposed to want. In the film, our erstwhile couple, Ed and Alice (Jay Mohr and Julianne Nicholson, respectively) are doing well, and coming up on their wedding. The impending nuptials freak out Alice with feelings of inadequacy around not being "experienced" enough. From there, we enter Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice territory - and I'm sure the name choices were not a coincidence here... They open up the relationship, agreeing they can each see other people before they get hitched, and thus inviting all kinds of trouble their way.

There are two possible angles on this kind of material, and in this case, we receive the comedy treatment, a gentle humor that softens the edge off the hard feelings that must eventually come. I was reminded of the similar John Stamos vehicle Grownups, which never really came together. Not that Seeing Other People is perfect - there's a litany of plots around the supporting roles that only somewhat work, but the main thrust of the film is solid. I love almost all these characters, but the fact so many are painted in like an afterthought really gets in the way here. Chop off some of the fluff and what you'll have is a thoughtful meditation on those things we can't be told, but have to learn for ourselves.

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