CRACKED Reviews Just Friends

Just Friends confused me even before I saw it. The ferocious ad campaign involved a giant poster of Ryan Reynolds (Van Wilder himself) with a fat face, while TV commercials fail to show the chubby version. Would this film dare to follow in the grand tradition of Shallow Hal? The answer is an unfortunate yes.

The story starts with New Jersey high school senior Chris Brander (Reynolds) lip-synching to All-4-One' "I Swear" in the mirror. He' pasty and goofy and oh so lame. His eyes pop open at certain moments in the song and his retainer shimmers like a dork' retainer always does. And boy, is he fat. "Man, look at that lame tub o' lard singing such a p***y song," is what people around me were whispering. They were laughing, too"¦ we all were, really, because this was the funniest part of
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Just Friends. That' why the powers that be showed the scene over again during the ending credits.

Next we learn about Chris' creepy infatuation with his unattainable friend Jamie, played by the adorable Amy Smart (Road Trip). Their relationship is pretty much the same old high school movie thing: hot girl has hideous but well-meaning best friend who thinks that maybe he can finally win her over by sentimental drivel, but ends up making an ass of himself in front of the whole high school"¦ at a crazy party! Embarrassed, (even more embarrassed than a really fat person would be, anyway) Chris leaves the party. And soon after, he leaves NJ.
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Ten years later, Chris is more like the Ryan Reynolds we all fell in love with. He' thin, retainer-free and working as a record exec in LA. At an in-crowd party, though, he comes off as a p***k, and come to think of it, Chris is not a good person most of the time. He' got the "used-to-be-fat" bitters, I guess.

The masterful Stephen Root (the radio station guy in O Brother, Where Art Thou?) is KC, Chris' boss. He demands that Chris accompany Samantha James to Paris for a business trip. Played by the irritating Anna Faris, Samantha is a rowdy horn-dog of a superstar trying to launch a music career. Though the movie didn't mention it, she' the kind of character whose Internet sex tape helps boys perfect masturbation.
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On the flight to Paris, their plane visits the shithouse and they're conveniently forced to land in Jersey. Back at home, Chris stays at his old house with his younger brother, Mike, and his naive, helpless mother. Chris and his bro always seem to be slapping each other, and Mrs. Brander seems as if she' been slapped around her whole life. Samantha is around too, aggravating Chris and teasing the hell out of Mike' c**k.

Soon Chris meets up with his old pal Jamie, and tries his hardest to get out of the "friend zone," and into her pants, and subsequently, her panties"¦ you get the point. But can he succeed with pin-up girl Samantha getting all up in his s**t? And what to do about the soulful Dustin (Chris Klein) who' also gunning for Jamie? You'll just have to see
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Just Friends to find out.

But really, don't see Just Friends. It's not funny, or even that romantic. In fact, it' more slapstick gone horribly lame than anything else. I never thought I'd be saying this, but there were way too many scenes with people getting hit in the nuts. And the acting! The only good performance was Mr. Root', and he had about 10 lines. Ten angelic lines.

The movie also lacks nudity, despite some serious opportunities for it. Though he didn't pen the script, director Roger Kumble should know from experience--Cruel Intentions II--that some nakedness has a funny way of making a s**t-storm of a movie a little less s****y. So again, don't see this movie, unless of course you fall into one of these categories:

1. An extremely loyal Amy Smart or Ryan Reynolds fan.
2. Very into almost seeing nudity.
3. A die-f*****g-hard Stephen Root fan. I know you're out there.
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