“It’s like a Michael Bolton starter kit” – Chris
Chris Brander is visiting his hometown during Christmas, he comes face-to-face with his old high school crush, Jamie whom he was best friends with, now the woman whose rejection of him turned him into a womanizer.
I ran across this gem tonight on Comedy Central. While not technically a “Christmas” movie, it’s a “well-sorta” Christmas movie, that if I would have seen before creating the Top Ten Christmas Well Sorta Movie list, it most certainly would’ve be included.
As a man, I find romantic comedies tedious to the point of pulling my hair out, for the most part. When you add Christmas to the rom com mix, that changes the ball game. Two outstanding rom com’s, Love Actually and Serendipity are two of my favorite films period, Christmas or not.
Now you can add Just Friends to that list. While not on the level of Love Actually, Just Friends takes the rejection of high school romance or rather being “Just Friends” and sets up a farcical reunion 10 years later during Christmas.
Chris has always loved Jamie, but Jamie liked her BFF. He’s never quite got the courage to attempt to move their relationship to the next level, and when he does hilarity usually ensues.
Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast as Chris, donning the fat suit for the high school years and then returning home slim and trim by which Jamie’s dad asks him “How’d you lose all that weight, like that r*tard from Subway?”. Reynolds is in his wheelhouse, especially when the physical comedy sets in. Natural born, comedic actor who should stay light years away from Green Lantern, please! Movies like this and The Proposal are a true fit for him.
As always, Anna Faris is a stand-out. Like Reynolds, she’s a true comedic talent. The role of Samantha James is her birthright.
Chris Klein also hits a home run as Dusty Dinkleman, Simply Dusty.
The rest of cast, also does a fine job.
Christmas is all around, Jamie’s dad decorates like a certain Griswold. The sights and sounds certainly will put you in the holiday spirit.
If you like physical comedy, that is crude in parts, but all heart warming in the end, then Just Friends is just for you.