Neither is actually a sex addict—Lainey is obsessed with the TA from the first scene, now a dull gynecologist (Adam Scott) who’s been cheating on his fiancée with her, and Jake is the kind of guy who sleeps with his girlfriend’s best friend and then blames her getting upset about it on the “societal insecurity” that pits women against each other.
There is, to be clear, absolutely nothing preventing them from acting on their obvious mutual attraction, but also nothing else to draw out the next 90 minutes. So for reasons that remain mysterious, Jake and Lainey decide to be just friends: Friends who go lingerie shopping together and teach each other how to masturbate (a new low for mansplaining) and have a safe word (“mousetrap”) for when they feel they’re getting too turned on by each other. And it almost works, mostly because Brie gives Lainey a frenetic, goofy energy that makes her sympathetic when she should be insufferable, and Sudeikis has always excelled at making narcissistic sleazeballs more compelling than they have any right to be.
The pair are buffeted by a superb cast of supporting actors who mostly seem more worthy of their stories being told. Adam Brody excels in a too-short scene as Lainey’s douchepoet Brooklynite boyfriend; the kind of deeply supportive and sensitive individual who loudly touts his feminist credentials until something happens to provoke his latent misogyny. (“You’re not a sex addict,” he sobs to Lainey after she reveals she’s cheated on him. “You’re just a whore.”)
Jason Mantzoukas and Andrea Savage play Jake’s best friend and his wife, who’re charmed rather than irked when Jake and Lainey show up to their child’s birthday party rolling on molly and steal scenes to the extent that they’re given the closing credits to themselves. Scott, disguised by clear-rimmed glasses, a well-manicured mustache, and an air of total charmlessness, makes the case that he’s the most versatile comic actor of his generation. And Natasha Lyonne plays Kara, a friend so lazily written she leaves a message on Lainey’s voicemail wishing her a “happy Christmas, or Hanukkah, or whatever you’re into” because she doesn’t know what her BFF’s religion is.
Still, Brie and Sudeikis struggle occasionally with their dialogue, which gets weighed down heavily by Headland’s roots writing for theater (her breakout play, Bachelorette, about a group of toxic women whose manifold addictions are provoked when the girl they used to bully gets married, was adapted into a 2012 movie starring Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson). “I do believe there are exactly three points we should discuss,” Jake says while chasing his girlfriend down the street, sounding more like he’s participating in a Republican primary debate than having an actual conversation with another human person. “Sometimes I dress up in lingerie just to feel something,” Lainey adds, apropos of nothing. And the pace is ponderous, with Jake getting caught up in a side relationship with his boss (Amanda Peet, almost impossibly charming) and Lainey dating a handsome but basic lawyer (Marc Blucas) who mostly serves as scenery.