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Friends with Benefits

August 3, 2011

Jamie: No emotions, just sex.

Another movie about sex-friends, fine with us. I’ll just imagine that you know the plot of Friends with Benefits from the easily read title, so I’ll just do a quick plot overview here; the easily likable Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis assume that they can maintain a relationship just consisting of sex. There, plot explained! Okay, on to my thoughts, Friends with Benefits is simply average. I’ll admit, there were a few big laughs here and there, but certainly not enough. The reason that my attention stayed there was the incredible chemistry between Timberlake and Kunis. Ultimately, I enjoyed the film, but it could have and should have been much better than the final outcome of the film was, considering all of the talent involved in this.

I don’t have much to say, so I’ll keep this review short. Friends with Benefits was directed by Will Gluck, who gave us last years surprise comedy hit Easy A and his sleeper Fired Up! that was just plain awful, at least from my point of view, and many others. Gluck did quite a fine job directing this film, and I find myself without any concrete complaints pertaining to the direction of the film, but I do have a few complaints about the script itself.  Gluck was one of the co-writers of the script, and I was not at all fond of the script, simply because I did not find it funny. Sure, there were a few funny parts (the iPad Bible) but certainly not enough to keep my attention, that, in this case, was the actors job.

Now, on to the acting. Justin Timberlake (The Social Network) and Mila Kunis (Black Swan) save the film from a complete disaster. It’s amusing to see these two getting into their wacky situation and struggling with keeping their emotions focused only on sex, and nothing else. While we all know what will happen at the end, these two are very funny and talented, especially together. We also have a short scene with Emma Stone (Crazy, Stupid, Love) who was obviously put in just because of her role in Easy A, and another short scene with Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg. Patricia Clarkson, who was also in Easy A, serves some fun as Kunis’ sex-addicted mother, and has some genuinely funny moments. 

Ultimately, I was not disappointed by this film. It has some genuinely funny moments throughout, but doesn’t have enough to make it perfect or even good. There are some pretty impressive performances from its large cast and Timberlake has great chemistry with Kunis. We are dragged down by weak writing, but pulled up by great direction by Will Gluck. All-in-all, I enjoyed this film and recommend it for anyone who wants a fun, light-hearted comedy. 

Friends with Benefits = 3 out of 5

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