A lot of people may not have thought about the movie Just friends, starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, as a timeless romantic comedy since its initial release. When the film’s competition that year included The 40 year old virgin, Delighted and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Just friends received little recognition. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but audiences as a whole rated the film high in comparison. And as time passed and streaming became more and more accessible to the general public, Just friends seems to be keeping its place in the trends, proving that the film could be considered a cult classic.
Reynolds has become a mega superstar over the years, landing two superhero roles as The Green Lantern and dead Pool. The actor’s latest film, The Adam Project, even set a new Netflix record by becoming the seventh most popular English original film. And Reynolds’ growing popularity over the years could have had a direct impact on the overall reception of Just friends, as he gave his all in comedy in the film. As he proved his dedication to his dynamic acting ability over the years, this film remained a milestone for his career, adding to his relevance to mainstream audiences.
At the time of her release, Anna Faris was famous for her roles in the first three films of the horror movie franchise. She also played a role in Expect…, another movie she did with Reynolds. Their pairing in Just friends was perfect because Faris became iconic for her ability to play the ditsy persona for comedic effect, and Reynolds had mastered the straight-man game. Her dry comedy became a trend for him in comedic roles, and her ability to seem unaffected helped her in her performances in things like The Amityville Horror and Buried, both of which received critical acclaim. But his dynamic with Faris in Just friends was awkward in a way that created the film’s most outrageous moments.
Just friends mixing sweet moments between Chris (Reynolds) and Jamie (Smart) with the ridiculous subplot between Samantha James (Faris) and Chris. There were also various bits of physical comedy for Chris, including getting into fights with his brother and being thrown a great distance during a hockey game where he got injured. The physical comedy elements of the PG-13 film allowed children to have fun without necessarily understanding the steamier scenes or being bored during the romantic moments, making the film a great family movie to enjoy over the winter holidays. season.
And while there are some problematic moments in the movie that are a bit dated, including the big costume for comedic effect and the sexist view of female and male friendships, the film has aged well overall. Compared to the torrid comedies of the time, Just friends kept the story relatively sweet, and Chris constantly suffered the consequences of his toxic views on intersex friendships, especially when Jamie realizes how much he thought of her throughout their friendship. His reaction was realistic and he earned his punishment at the end of the movie, which wasn’t always the case in comedies of the early 2000s.
Chris learns his lesson at the end and offers a heartfelt apology to Jamie, ending the film on a high note often needed for rom-coms. Just friends was just sweet, silly, and fun enough to stay trending on streaming platforms today, especially as Reynolds continues to climb to the pinnacle of stardom. It may not be his best performance, but Just friends will always be an interesting footnote in the actor’s career.
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