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-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on February 22, 2012, in 2011 Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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