Just Friends (2005) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is the movie in which Ryan Reynolds donned a fat suit in the prologue to play a sweet-natured teenage loser, then took the suit off to  play the man that the kindly fat boy grew up to become - a svelte, handsome, womanizing, shallow, big-shot record producer. He accidentally ends up back in his home town, reunited briefly with the girl who cherished him as a best friend back in school, but would never accept him as a boyfriend because he was - well, to be blunt, a fat and ugly loser. So will he go for the anger fuck on her? Will he fall in love with her again? Will he revert to dorkiness when he's back in his home town?

Roger Ebert and James Berardinelli assigned one star apiece to this film, and many other critics disliked it, but I kinda liked Just Friends, although that may be because it is precisely the kind of romantic comedy I can tolerate, possessing the following characteristics:

1. High on comedy, low on romance.

2. Fairly close to the reality of what would happen if these characters actually had to interact.

3. Filled with mean, dark-spirited humor, yet with character redemption and an intrinsic sentimental streak, in the same general spirit as Scrooged.

I laughed quite a bit, enough to get me watching every minute of the special features, which made me laugh some more. Ryan Reynolds tones down his usual snarky cynicism, and Amy Smart is basically the film's "straight man," but big laughs are delivered by the secondary players. Anna Faris is hilarious in the third lead as a clueless, horny, Britney-type pop tart who is being wooed by Reynolds' record company. What's more, and I never thought I'd say this, Chris Klein is also very funny. Klein does his usual "sweet guy next door" routine, but it turns out that the character really is a slimy, scheming guy who only uses a typical Chris Klein schtick to get laid!

As you can see from the links below, everyday audiences did not agree with the critics on this film. It is scored a "B" from about 9000 Yahoo voters, and grossed a respectable $32 million. This is basically a disposable Christmas film, but is nonetheless worth the watch for those times when you want a few mindless laughs.

  • Commentary from director Roger Kumble, writer Adam "Tex" Davis, producer Christ Bender, co-producer Jake Weiner, executive producers Richard Brener and Cale Boyter
  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary from director Roger Kumble, writer Adam "Tex" Davis and producer Chris Bender
  • Nine Behind-the-scenes featurettes
  • Blooper reel



There's no nudity, but Amy Smart spends about the first five minutes of the film in her panties, spreading her legs, and Mircea Monroe practically falls out of her blouse in the deleted scenes.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus out of four stars: one star. James Berardinelli 1/4, Roger Ebert 1/4.

  • British consensus out of four stars: one and a half stars. Mail 0/10, Telegraph 2/10, Independent 2/10, Guardian 2/10, Times 4/10, Sun 4/10, Express 4/10, Mirror 4/10, BBC 3/5.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C, a disposable but sometimes very entertaining film.

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