Just Friends


Just Friends

Critics Consensus

There are moments of mirth in this overly broad comedy, but mostly, Just Friends is just not that funny.



Total Count: 103


Audience Score

User Ratings: 420,512
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Movie Info

When Chris, a likable, high-school loser, finally gathers the courage to reveal his love to Jamie -- the girl of his dreams and a super cool cheerleader -- she rejects him, saying she just wants to be friends. So, he moves across the country and transforms himself into a selfish, womanizing and successful music executive. But, 10 years later, circumstances bring him back to his home town and fate reconnects him with the "just friends" girl of his dreams. Suddenly, Chris has the chance to undo the past, but unbelievably, he finds it more difficult to romance Jamie than it was 10 years ago. Can one escape the clutches of the "friend zone?" Is it possible to go from "just friend" to boyfriend? Chris is about to find out the hard way.


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Critic Reviews for Just Friends

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (60)

  • Just Friends is just stupid.

    Nov 29, 2005
  • Just Friends is part Farrelly Brothers and part Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, all wrapped together to deliver gross-out gags in bizarrely random and rapid-fire fashion, with zero intent to develop sustainable plot or character.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Tony Wong

    Toronto Star
    Top Critic
  • Just Friends hangs its crude, clobbering sense of humor on a dubious theory.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 2/5
  • ... while the ending might be a foregone conclusion, getting there involves just enough slapstick manful idiocy to keep the humor moving at a clip.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A barbed romantic comedy with a distinct debt to the Farrelly brothers' gross-out-plus-sentimentality formula, Just Friends is a welcome antidote to the usual seasonal sweetness.

    Nov 28, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • In all, it's not too bad and it's not too long, and any movie that sets Santa on fire is okay by me.

    Nov 23, 2005 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Just Friends

  • Nov 09, 2014
    Romantic comedies are often held up as the epitome of Hollywood dross. They are used to guage how far the standards of comedy and character development have fallen in the history of cinema, and every year another bad reminder of their poor quality and cynical nature comes along to torment us. The fact that many of these films make bucketloads of money can only be explained by a lack of alternative viewing for women, or a lack of taste all-round. The thing is, very few people who genuinely care about cinema want it to be this way. Hating on a given film is a popular and cathartic exercise, but every time a new film comes along, every true film fan is wanting it to be good. Every so often a film arrives in whatever genre which appears to have nothing going for it and turns out to be truly worthwhile. Just Friends, on the other hand, is every bit as empty and stupid as its appearance would lead us to believe. One of the most common problems with modern romantic comedies is that the leading characters are deeply unlikeable. Hollywood has always flaunted the wealth of its characters, as seen in the classic romances of the Golden Age and its continuing obsession with British royalty. But in recent years its celebration of wealth and stature has mutated into something more mean-spirited: while in the past wealth was presented as something to admire or respect in a character (rightly or wrongly), now it is used as an excuse for that character to be as mean as he or she likes to anyone who is not in their position. Each of the three main characters in Just Friends are unlikeable because their status is forced down our throats every time we try and bond with them. We might congratulate Chris on becoming a successful musical rep if he didn't brag so much about how wealthy he was or act in so much denial about his unrequited love for Jamie. Samantha is terribly written, with Anna Faris just being a spoilt brat who makes us want her to disappear from her first line. Even Jamie, who is relatively low down the social ladder, is a victim of this, with director Roger Kumble drawing attention to her status as a bartender as a lazy means of getting us to think she's okay. Character development in Just Friends is few and far between, and even when we do get it, it's rarely satisfying. The entire opening sequence, showing Chris as an overweight dork, is not only shallow in reducing love down to physical attraction, but deeply mean-spirited and really unfunny. More to the point, the whole crux of the film (Chris trying to confess his feeling to Jamie and them getting together) takes far too long to play out, and when they do finally get together, it feels like an act of exhausted surrender rather than something more edifying or uplifting. The opening sequence also raises a sadly common issue in Hollywood, namely its notion of what ugliness is. Kumble and screenwriter Adam 'Tex' Davis clearly believe that putting Ryan Reynolds in a fatsuit is automatically hilarious, counterpointing as it does Reynolds' good looks and charm (we'll get to that) with fatness, which in their book is inherently bad. If you found this device offensive in Shallow Hal, then you'll really have no time for it here. It's a cheap, offensive trick, designed to make the character look pathetic rather than take the time to properly build him up as something approaching a real person. Equally offensive, and much more pervasive, is the film's central conceit. The 'friend zone' (a term fittingly coined by the sitcom Friends) is a deeply sexist concept, implying as it does that any man who does nice things to a woman should be rewarded with a romantic and/ or sexual relationship with said woman. When Rob Reiner tackled the idea of friends falling in love in When Harry Met Sally, he gave its two players equal footing and explored the subject with intelligence. Here, we are expected to root for Chris on the grounds that he is owed love by Jamie, which belittles her and makes Chris both creepy and aggressive. Since we're on the subject of Chris, it's only fair that we should address the performance of Ryan Reynolds, one of the most overrated actors working in Hollywood today. While he has occasionally turned in a good performance (in Buried, for instance), for the most part Reynolds acts like a brand new wardrobe: nicely buffed, but also wooden, empty and completely hollow. He has no charisma, no comic timing, and is not in the least bit likeable, spending all his time either complaining or mugging to the audience. As his work in Green Lantern proved, he is perhaps the least suitable leading man that Hollywood has produced in the last two decades - though Hayden Christiansen may fight him for that title. The rest of the cast are either irritating by their own efforts or disappointing because of how little they bring to the table. Amy Smart acquitted herself perfectly well in Rat Race, but her she's pretty bland, reduced whether by the script, direction or a lack of confidence to just being smiley and care-free. Anna Faris, who would later excel in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, is as annoying here as she is in the Scary Movie series, screeching through her lines like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. The supporting cast are mostly unmemorable, with Chris Klein having to play the Phil Hartman role in Jingle All The Way, but without the talent or charisma. Most of the humour in Just Friends is derived from laughing at the characters' misfortunes. Kumble goes to great and bloody lengths to humiliate Chris and Samantha, taking jokes that might ave worked in an episode of South Park and removing any aspect of them that could be funny. It may be that Kumble is more at home in the darker, more twisted end of comedy, having come to prominence as the director of Cruel Intentions, a teen take on Dangerous Liaisons. In any case, his aptitude for publicly humiliating his characters is at odds with the feel-good atmosphere the rom-com plot is trying to generate. On top of all this, the film is very dull and repetitive. In my review of Beverly Hills Cop III, I commented that boring films are the hardest to defend, because they are not even memorably offensive enough to justify themselves (i.e. they are worth having as a baseline, below which we should not hope to drop). If Just Friends was merely creepy or offensive, or even annoying, it may have been possible to argue its case in this manner. But for better or worse, it's no Sex and the City. Most of this boredom comes from the fact that the plot is inexplicably drawn out. Even with all my comments about character development, the plot of Just Friends is at best suitable for a half-hour TV episode. Had it been an episode of Friends, for instance, the characters would have milked the conceit dry and then either tied things up or left it open for a recurring character to come back later in the series. Here, we get 30 minutes of plot strung out by increasingly stupid ploys by Chris to get Jamie to change her mind, none of which are credible and all of which are either tedious or irritating. On top of everything else, the film is visually unimpressive. Anthony B. Richmond started off his career in exciting fashion, shooting Don't Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth for Nicolas Roeg, and later working with The Who on The Kids Are Alright. But ever since the early-2000s, when he lensed Legally Blonde, he seems to have got stuck in a rut with plastic, vapid rom-coms. Here his lighting choices and camera angles are stale and predictable, draining out whatever energy Kumble was attempting to bring to proceedings. Just Friends is a rubbish rom-com which succeeds in being creepy, sexist or boring far more often than it manages to be funny. Ryan Reynolds adds this role to his roster of unconvincing, uncharismatic leading men, and Kumble's direction is both mean-spirited and unengaging. While it's ultimately too boring to make you physically sick, it is another sad indictment of the way that Hollywood deals with romance and relationships.
    Daniel M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 18, 2013
    The romantic comedy Just Friends is a fun but somewhat cartoonish film that's fairly entertaining. The story follows a successful music executive who returns to his hometown for Christmas and attempts to win over his high school crush, but he finds that his old awkward ticks return whenever he's around her. Featuring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, and Chris Klein, the film has a solid comedic cast. However, they don't have much chemistry together. Still, a lot of the comedy sketches work, and Faris does a great job at creating an over-the-top pop star parody. Just Friends is a stereotypical rom-com full of cliches, but it still delivers laughs.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2011
    Just Friends is a fairly comedy that exceeded my expectations a bit. If you're looking for a fun comedy, then this is your film. Just Friends is not a perfect comedy, but for what it is, it definitely brings on good laughs. Like I said, this one exceeded my expectations, and I didn't think it would be this funny, but it was. The jokes aren't excellent, but for the most part, there good enough to make you laugh a few times. This is a good film and it does some memorable moments. The cast do a fine job in their roles, and they're all amusing to watch on-screen. There are things that they could've improved upon here and there, but overall the filmmakers succeeded at delivering a funny film. The film has its low points, but the use of comedy keeps the film from faltering and in the end, this is an underrated comedy flick if you enjoy mindless comedy, Give Just Friends a view. I did, and was surprised. Not the best comedy, but not the worst either. Just Friends is really the type of comedy film that delivers a good time, decent laughs and is one of those films that shouldn't be easily dismissed. I enjoyed for what it is, despite not being a great film, I had fun watching this film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2011
    Reynolds is charming in the lead and provides evidence of the talent behind the curtains. The pitfalls are the story elements and the romantic comedy beats that must be followed. They really needed to exploit the fat guy Reynolds, that was the funniest part of the film and with four hours of makeup to achieve the look, they needed to use this moment and they drop the ball. The cast are likable and try super hard with a tired script. The filmmaker feels content to allow the film to fail at times, when it could have been played seriously for better laughs. The ice hockey scene is hilarious and moments like this are to and few between. There was a better film here and sadly this is just a film that tries way too hard. 14/12/2018
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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