- Robert Sternberg
What really makes most good romantic comedies work is the actors. Plots are practically interchangeable in the genre and there aren't many new themes or ideas, either. But if the leads have a good chemistry and the supporting characters are interesting and funny, the film will work.
As the leading male in Seeing Other People, Mohr is fine as Ed, giving enough of an edge to be funny. But there is no question this is Julianne Nicholson's film. She is funny, sweet, charming and filled with this incredible energy. Her performance takes the film from a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy to a truly funny, sometimes touching film.
Ed (Mohr) and Alice (Nicholson) are the kind of couple that stays in on Saturday nights. They play Scrabble. He picks out stamps based on what he thinks she'd like. They are, in every way, in love. But she's got one nagging doubt – she's only had sex with three other "men" – one actually being a woman. So, she tells Ed that she wants to have some meaningless sex before their marriage. Hilarity ensues.
So, what makes Alice so loveable? It's not really the script; she's the one who pushes the clearly doomed sex plan. It's not any of the individual gags throughout; there's not a big difference between the set pieces in Seeing Other People and in lesser films. But Nicholson has this tremendous energy, this great spirit that takes over early on in the film. Her innocence is the best trait for Alice.
Josh Charles, Andy Richter, Bryan Cranston and Lauren Graham are also funny in supporting roles. Also, for those with similar taste in women singers as mine, don't blink during the yoga scene for a six-second appearance from Liz Phair.
Seeing Other People is not without flaws, though. The entire film feels very episodic, as if there are no plot points, just encounters. Some of the jokes are the ultimate of cliché (cheating spouses pushing others out windows when significant others come home, for instance).