It's New Jersey 1995 and Chris Bender (Ryan Reynolds) is the chubby best friend of the school hottie Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart), but he wants to be so much more, but he is firmly stuck in the “Friend Zone”. He writes down all his feelings in her school yearbook and he sets out to give it to her. However one of the high school jocks gets hold of it and reads it to everybody at the graduation party. Chris is humiliated but vows to show them all one day. We move forward 10 years to LA where Chris is a slim, suave hot shot record exec, and now seems to be very successful with the ladies and is definitely a love em and leave em type due to his experiences with Jamie at high school. It's Christmas and he is all set for vacation in Santa Barbara until his boss KC (Stephen Root) tells him to get latest teen pop sensation Samantha James (Anna Faris) signed to the label. Although she is a total fruit loop Chris is determined to get her signed and agrees to go to Paris with her for the holidays. Unfortunately the plane has a few problems thanks to Samantha and they make an emergency landing in New Jersey and Chris is home for the first time in 10 years. After seeing his mum and brother he decides to check out The Maple, the local bar where he runs into some old faces and one in particular that brings back some deep feelings, Jamie Palamino!
This is a fun but ultimately forgettable comedy that hits all the right notes for a Friday night rental with your girl/boyfriend. Reynolds (who I admittedly think is a funny guy) is good as Chris whose funny one liners and facial expressions are a high point of the movie. Amy Smart is lovely as well as the sweet American girl but admittedly she does not need to try too hard to pull off this part. Anna Faris does some scene stealing as pop star Samantha, who does everything in her power to annoy Chris as he is trying to win Jamie's heart. Faris did the dumb actress to a tee in “Lost in Translation” and has now managed to send up every Ashlee Simpson wannabe in “Just Friends”. Kudos as well to Stephen Root (Office Space, Dodgeball) as Brander's boss, Julie Hagerty (Airplane) as Chris's mum and Chris Marquette (The Girl next Door) as his horny brother Mike who make a by the numbers comedy a cut above.
So, nothing too extraordinary here, but if you're a Ryan Reynolds fan or just want something funny to pass the time then give “Just Friends” a spin.
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