(Review originally written at 8 September 2008)

This is simply one fine and effective little comedy that is nothing too brilliant or hilarious but is simply a movie that constantly entertains and will surely make you laugh more than once.

The movie is mostly being made enjoyable by its characters. It has some greatly fun characters in it, who of course are over-the-top and perhaps also not the most original once. Nevertheless it works out fine which is also due to the fine acting performance, which I have to say, were better than expected.

I didn't really knew Ryan Reynolds as a comedy actor but he is simply great at it. He plays the main character of the movie, which means that he also mostly gets to carry the movie. He really manages well and plays a good convincing fat guy as well as a good convincing slick music manager/womanizer. Mind you, it's not a double role but it's the same character actually. The movie doesn't really feature the best known comedy actors of this moment but the casting is simply good, with Amy Smart, Anna Faris and Chris Klein all in some good comedy roles.

Of course the story is mostly predictable though and the movie is set around Christmas, which makes this a Christmas movie and got released in late October originally. But seriously, "Just Friends" is not necessarily a Christmas movie and basically can be watched at any time of the year. Luckily it doesn't lay its emphasis on Christmas and the jolly Christmas spirit, like some other comedies released around Christmas would do.

Despite having some over-the-top character, I don't really feel that the movie itself as a whole doesn't ever go over-the-top with its situations. It does has some Will Ferrell of Ben Stiller kind of moments in it so to speak but its style and directing always makes sure that the movie remains a sort of a humble and restrained one with its comedy and I mean this in a positive way. Forced comedy just doesn't always work out that well and "Just Friends" surely doesn't take this risk, which however also has as a consciences though that the movie isn't the best or most memorable one within its genre but the movie serves its purpose and it does not fail to entertain you throughout.

Simply a fine genre movie to watch.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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