“Sleep with me” (2009) is a film based on a novel by Joanna Briscoe. Directed by Marc Jobst and screenplay by Andrew Davies. The movie starred Jodhi May as Lelia, Anamaria Marinca as Sylvie and Adrian Lester as Richard.
This biased movie review is based solely on the movie; completely removed from the novel.
I’ll be honest: I saw the movie because Jodhi May is in it. Psychological thriller is really not my cup of coffee. Films of that nature would have to have some actor I really like for me to want to watch it. Like “Black Swan” — Natalie Portman. Good reason enough for anyone, I think!
Anyway, “Sleep with me” revolves around a couple, Lelia and Richard. They both are also the narrators, intermittently. One day, a high-functioning French sociopath, Sylvie, comes into their lives and their world slowly but surely falls apart. She appears to have a penchant for flirting with anything that moves. However, soon, we realize that Sylvie’s primary goal is actually to get close to Lelia, her long lost childhood friend. After seducing Lelia, who is married and pregnant at the time, they move in together. Long story. Badabing badaboom, Lelia is back together with Richard right before she delivers the baby.
The theme is of course love and infidelity. Lelia and Richard start off like any loving couple, absolutely in love with each other. Then, Sylvie comes along and shakes things up. Richard is first to fall prey. Then, Lelia. Obviously, their love for each other isn’t strong enough to fend off some French accent. They basically are cheating on each other with the same woman.
Of course, the movie has great cast. Jodhi May: amazing! I just wish she doesn’t have to cry so much in ALL her works, but you know, to each her own! Anamaria Marinca as a high-functioning French sociopath is very convincing – sweet and docile on the outside, but deadly and cold on the inside.
You want to feel sorry for Lelia and Richard when you see that their lives are slowly falling apart due to Sylvie’s single-minded focus on Lelia, but not really, when you think about how easy it is for them to allow her to seduce them to bits. Too obvious! Come on; you can’t see that she’s seducing you??
You get a feeling that the movie is different from other lesbian films. But really, in the words of Tia Dalma, “same story, different version”. Yeah, sure; both the women didn’t end up together, but that’s a given: one of them is crazy.
In conclusion, the novel is better. Get the novel.