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Just Friends

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jan
Just Friends

from Film Forum, 12/01/05

Can you fall in love with someone who calls you "a friend"? That's the central question of Just Friends, a comedy about an overweight young man (Ryan Reynolds) who struggles to win the heart of his friend, a blond cheerleader named Jamie. Later, when he's slimmed down, successful, and a relentless womanizer, the two run into each other again. How much has really changed? Does he stand a better chance of winning her now that he's lost both the weight and his soul?

The movie isn't winning any hearts among Christian film critics.

Christopher Lyon (Plugged In) says, "Just Friends does manage to be funny at times. And the likable cast delivers intentionally ridiculous, over-the-top performances. … But as the ancient Roman orator Quintilian said, 'That laughter costs too much which is purchased by the sacrifice of decency.' Quintilian would have hated this movie and probably asked his teens to skip it."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Despite ending on an admirably sentimental note, director Roger Kumble's film is forced and witless, its humor alternating between unfunny and mean-spirited."

Most mainstream critics are rejecting the film.