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Just Friends Review

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Chris (Reynolds) and Jamie (Smart) were best friends in high school, but the fat and nerdy Chris’ crush on Jamie went unrequited. Ten years on, he’s a buff music executive, back in town at Christmas with a spoiled star in tow — but can he get out of the f

★★★★★

Don’t be deceived. Though afflicted with an unfunny trailer and direction from the guy who made appalling sex comedy The Sweetest Thing, this is largely stink-free. About two seconds
in, as a fat-suited Ryan Reynolds under a ginger wig sings along to Boyz II Men’s I Swear, your face splits in a stupid grin that lasts, largely uninterrupted, for the next 90 minutes. Reynolds is making a habit of winning audiences over despite themselves: this is, after all, the man who made Van Wilder: Party Liaison watchable. He plays on that winning charmer routine here, slipping in a dollop of nerdishness as the newly babelicious Chris.

Anna Faris provides the Beast to his Beauty as a wannabe rock star, proving again that she’s better in over-the-top supporting roles than in any number of Scary Movies, and there’s a great, all-too-brief cameo from Airplane!’s Julie Hagerty as Chris’ anxious mother. If there’s a weak link, it’s Amy Smart, who’

Funnier than it has any right to be, thanks to Reynolds’ charisma and Faris’ bubbleheaded blonde.

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