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Friends With Benefits (DVD)
Member Name: suziedre
Friends With Benefits (DVD)
Advantages: Funny, watchable, looks great
Disadvantages: Turns into a typical romcom
I only watched Friends With Benefits as I was fairly bored the other evening and just wanted something that wouldn't tax my brain. Romantic comedies generally aren't my thing but I will happily watch one if I think it's going to be sweet and/or funny.
This is a 2011 romcom starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. It's been compared to No Strings Attached, which has a similar theme, but I can't comment as I haven't seen the latter film.
The film begins with both Dylan (Timberlake) in New York and Jamie (Kunis) in Los Angeles being dumped by their respective partners. Jamie is a headhunter and has enticed Jamie to New York to interview for GQ magazine. She shows him the sights of the city, including a flash mob and great views of NYC, and entices him to accept the job offer. Not knowing anyone else in the city, Dylan spends more time with Jamie and they become good friends.
When watching a cheesy romcom one evening, Jamie and Dylan start talking about sex and relationships, and eventually decide that they can be 'friends with benefits'. They start sleeping together. This part of the film was, obviously, very sexual in nature with some graphic language. I was surprised how sexual it was - not something that bothers or offends me but I was slightly shocked at how long this section of the film went on for!
Naturally, emotions start to get in the way of the sex, especially when Jamie decides she wants to stop their agreement so she can start dating again, only to end up being treated badly again. This is where, for me, the film started to get far too predictable. The film's characters are shown mocking typical romantic comedies, yet somewhere after halfway through, this film itself begins to descend into typical romcom territory.
Having said that, the more emotional parts of the film are quite sweet, thanks to the portrayal of Dylan's father by Richard Jenkins (who has been excellent in the admittedly few things I have ever seen him in). I enjoyed the parts showing Dylan's family as it made me more sympathetic towards the characters, when previously they'd come across as somewhat shallow and cocky.
As I mentioned, the latter half of the film is your standard romcom so you don't need to use your imagination much to guess what happens.
I had only ever seen Mila Kunis in Black Swan before watching this film, and she's pretty and likeable. Justin Timberlake didn't annoy me half as much as I thought he would - he's not the world's best actor but he was good in this role... I actually laughed out loud at some of his lines. He actually came across as fairly geeky at times which endeared me to him. There was definitely chemistry between him and Mila Kunis, and I found that the dialogue was very quick, clever and snappy.
Woody Harrelson portrays a gay colleague of Dylan's in this, and he pretty much steals the show. He gets the best lines and is very funny.
As the 'action' changes between New York and LA (and there is a lot of chat about the characters being from those respective cities), this film will give you major lifestyle envy. In New York, we see stylish apartments, great views of the skyscrapers, and cute delis; whereas in LA we see the beautiful ocean, and big beach houses.
Overall I did enjoy this film and I wish you could award half-stars, because if so I would give this 3 and a half stars. I would have awarded it more, but as previously mentioned, the film turns to standard romcom formula towards the end, when I would have preferred perhaps more of a bittersweet ending.
Summary: Cute leads and snappy dialogue - worth a watch if you're bored