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Just Friends is the latest screwball comedy to star Van Wilder’s Ryan Reynolds and Scary Movie’s Anna Farris. It’s a movie about what happens to one guy when he doesn’t get the girl of his dreams…Back in high school Chris Brander (Reynolds) was a nice guy - a really, really nice guy. A dream nerd for bullies, he was also overweight with bad hair n’ braces, and in love with his best friend, Jamie (Amy Smart). When his declaration of love for her goes horribly wrong he vows “never again”. Chris shapes up and ships out to LA, transforming himself into a vacuous, womanising record executive. His philosophy? Don’t look back.Fast forward to now and Chris is about to head off on a “creative” trip to Paris with his 'ex’, caustic LA rock star Samantha James (Farris). En route, unexpectedly they become grounded in – where else - his hometown in New Jersey. It spells 'groundhog day’ for Chris. Although it’s the first time he has been home in ten years and in spite of plans to the contrary, once again Chris must relive the humiliation of being 'just friends’ with the girl he loves. The more things change… You get the drift.Just Friends almost feels like an attempt at a lowbrow remake of Zach Braff’s stellar 'return home’ movie Garden State (2004) - also set in New Jersey - with a bit of the Farrelly Bros 'fat comedy’ Shallow Hal (2001) thrown in. Reynolds duly milks his fat suit for all the cheap laughs he can get in this highly derivative romantic comedy, which is neither very romantic nor funny. (Garden State on the other hand was able to deftly combine lowbrow and absurd comedy with genuine romance and pathos). I’m no fan of Reynolds’ insincere Jim Carrey-derived schtick (his comic timing is so bad!), so this low rent 'dumb comedy’ was saved only occasionally for me by Farris channelling 'extreme Paris Hilton’ for her obnoxious West Coast character, and actor Christopher Marquette, hilarious as Chris’s younger brother Mike (he’s bit of a find). But it’s not enough to save it from a fate worse than ordinary. Just say no to Just Friends…

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