Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Full Review: Friends With Benefits

Grade: B

Dylan works for a very successful blog in Los Angeles and has recently been offered a possible position at GQ magazine in New York. When he flies to NY, he is met by Jamie, a corporate head hunter whose job it is to convince Dylan to accept the job. He does and he moves to New York where he and Jamie continue to be really good friends. One night, after watching a cheesy romantic comedy, the two decide that to avoid the heartbreak of their recent relationships and to fulfill certain… needs, that they should just have sex with no emotional attachments to each other. Convinced that this arrangement will work and that no complications could possibly arise from this agreement, the two continue this arrangement… until complications arise.

Friends with Benefits is very similar to the recent movie No Strings Attached but with one major difference, this one is actually pretty legitimately funny… and there’s no Ashton Kutcher. This movie is very raunchy and definitely earns its R rating. Despite the fact that we just saw this movie, the writers manage to keep things somewhat fresh in this one. The jokes are very adult, sexual and pretty hilarious. On top of all of the obvious humor, there are some very interesting jokes that aren’t focused on much but are what made me appreciate this movie more. To start, there are plenty of jokes about New York versus Los Angeles. The movie basically says that people from LA are granola eating, herbal tea sipping, yoga doing hippies and that people from NY are angry, bitter, loud and crude. This movie also makes a lot of jokes at the expense of your typical romantic comedy. Throughout the movie, you will see scenes from a fake rom-com starring Rashida Jones and Jason Segel, these clips are great and really funny and show most of the typical rom-com clichés. However, this also brings up on of my few complaints about the movie. It makes fun of the extremely cheesy and sappy endings that these movies tend to have where the characters make grand gestures to win back the people they love. Well, this movie has just that kind of ending.

Justin Timberlake (The Social Network, Bad Teacher) plays the role of Dylan. I actually really like Justin Timberlake as an actor, and he’s a good actor at that. He is very funny in this movie and has perfect delivery of so many lines that it will keep you laughing throughout. Mila Kunis (Black Swan, The Book of Eli) plays the role of Jamie. She is great and really funny in this movie, she definitely manages to keep up with Timberlake. The two have a great chemistry together and really help make this movie as enjoyable as it is. The movie also stars Woody Harrelson, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Richard Jenkins, Andy Samburg, Emma Stone and more including a couple great cameos.

Friends With Benefits is the type of movie that makes for a great date night. It is fun, funny, sexy and entertaining. It keeps making fun of typical rom-coms while all at the same time falling victim to many of those clichés. Yes, it is very adult, but at the end of the day it is still a romantic comedy. It is odd that they would release two movies so similar to each other so close together but I feel confident in saying that this movie is much better than No Strings Attached.

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