Have you ever liked a girl/guy/animal, but it took you too long to try and take it any further, that you were sucked into the vortex that is the ‘friend’s zone’? If your answer is no, then I hate you, you lucky S.O.B, and also that this film might not be for you. The real charm of this movie comes from you remembering moments in your life, when you were in the same position as the protagonist.
Just Friends is about one man’s fight against the ‘friend’s zone’. Chris Brander (played by the great Ryan Reynolds) is a down-on-his-luck guy who suffers from ‘friend’s zone syndrome’, which is when the person you’re attracted to, only see’s you as a friend. Throughout high school Brander is in love with his best friend Jaime Palamino (played by the beautiful Amy Smart), who is completely oblivious until the truth comes rolling out at a graduation party. Brander vows to leave the town, and return only to ‘show them all’. He returns as a womanizer, but realises he has to change his methods to win Palamino.
There are only two reasons why Just Friends is funny. The first reason, is watching how mentally deranged Brander becomes, in his challenge in winning over Palamino. He goes from acting like an overconfident macho man, to an overemotional winey wimp.
The other reason is you empathising with Brander and his actions. When I was watching the film, it brought up all different types of memories of me doing weird things to get out of the ‘friend’s zone’. Unfortunately like I said before, you’ll only feel this if you’ve been in this type of situation.
The real low parts of this film, has to be the absolutely awful characters. The characters are over the top, unfunny and so gut-wrenchingly bad, that at times I wanted to skip through any scenes that didn’t have Reynolds in it. For example Anna Faris’ character is so moronic and unintelligent, that she makes the cast of Jersey Shore seem smart.
The pacing of the film is terrible as well. For some reason, it feels as if the film is repeating itself but just in different locations. It goes from Brander being unlucky in love, then to a womanizer who doesn’t really care for people, to him going back to how he was at the beginning of the film. There’s no progression or development, just a load of jumbled ideas.
As a package Just Friends is a bad film. The characters are unimaginative, boring and unfunny, and when you’re making a rom-com, that’s a major problem. The only thing that saves this film, is Ryan Reynolds’ acting. This film should have been called Just Forgettable. If you’ve been in the ‘friend’s zone’, then it’s a 54/100. If not, then it’s a…