Friends with Benefits (2011)
Sometimes chemistry can make up for a lot, and the dynamic, natural, and playfully flirty chemistry between stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis makes up for a lot of their movies shortcomings (if you know what I mean). Friends with Benefits is another tale about a guy and a girl, both friends, who embark on a challenge to have casual sex and not form emotional/romantic attachments. No matter how many romantic comedy clichés it points out for ridicule, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the movie becomes one big, mushy, clichéd rom-com itself, albeit with saltier language (if you know what I mean). The randy humor will occasionally feel like it’s trying too hard, afraid to let an obvious joke lie dormant for too long. That’s where the sheer star power and amiable chemistry of the leads comes in handy. Kunis and Timberlake are both rather easy on the eyes, but they have a sharp sense of comic timing and a natural interplay. Hooray, a movie about friends where they feel like actual friends. Under the direction of Will Gluck (Easy A), the film has a jaunty pace except for an extended layover in Los Angeles that seems to sap the comic mojo and chart the film’s obvious rom-com reconciliatory ending. Friends with Benefits is sexy, funny, and an easy way to waste a couple hours (if you know what I mean).
Nate’s Grade: B-