Just Friends
Anna Faris is muff-tastic! Wait … that sounds dirty … oh well.

Theatrical Release Date: 11/23/2005
Director: Roger Kumble
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette, Stephen Root, Julie Hagerty

I know I’m probably preaching to the wrong choir by reviewing “Just Friends”, but I can sum up who will and who won’t like this film very simply. Do you like Ryan Reynolds?

If no, then stay away from the film. If yes, see this before it leaves theatres or just buy it once it hits store shelves.

I am a fan of the Reynolds delivery style and found myself laughing throughout the film. It only lets up a little bit at the end, where there is a small problem of story resolution, but as a comedy, this is trying to knock off “The 40 Year Old Virgin” for my favorite comedy of the year.

But how can this be you say? “Virgin” got a 4? True, this film will not get a 4 out of 5. “Virgin” was a complete film, tying together a story full of heart with a lot of gut wrenching laughter.

“Just Friends” is all funny with just a little heart. And that’s okay with me. In a month full of intense dramas about geisha cowboys who sing at Folsom prison and scale the Empire State Building to assassinate Olympic terrorists, this was a very welcome breath of funny air.

The basic story is that Reynolds was a fat kid in high school who loved a popular pretty girl. Since leaving high school, he has slimmed down, become successful and now wants to get the girl. Far from original but there it is.

Assisting Reynolds are Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Chris Marquette, Stephen Root, and Julie Hagerty. Smart plays the love interest and Klein the opposition. As I wouldn’t mind snuggling with Smart, I was cheering for Reynolds to get the girl. And as I always hope Klein will fall into a vat of acid, it’s easy to pray for his failure.

Of special note for the film are Faris and Marquette. Their interactions with each other and the rest of the cast are hilarious and I’ll be using the line, “It’s okay, she has her toothpaste”, for some time to come.

Also, this film has the best scene involving Christmas decorations I may have ever seen. Did you know Santa has a flammable crotch?

Well he does. And this film had me going from start to finish.

While some of the fat suit humor was clichéd, it served to create empathy with the audience which helped the story overall. “Just Friends” gets a 3 out of 5 from me. This is a sure buy for me once it hits the store shelves and if I find myself with some free time in the next few weeks, I may go back to see this one again.

P.S. Julie Hagerty played Elaine the stewardess in “Airplane” and aside from that being pretty cool, the Australian film title for the movie was “Flying High”. How good is that?