Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Movie Review: Friends with Benefits

I never realized it until recently but I am a movie buff. I may not know tons of pop trivia as I do with music, but between dating two movie nerds and Netflix I have seen most things work seeing from the last 60 years. And while visiting my aunt this winter break we watched A LOT of movies, one of which was Friends with Benefits staring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. (As a side note that break I also watched the similar themed No Strings Attached with my mom. Friends with Benefits was MUCH MUCH better.)

Timberlake plays Dylan who is persuaded to take a dream job in New York City by a head hunter, Jamie, played by Kunis. As Jamie teaches Dylan about all the amazing things the city has to offer, the pair become fast friends and continue to hang out after Dylan movies to the East Coast from L.A. But of course a movie is not a movie without a little bit of complication, so the friends eventually lament the perils of being single and decide to do something about it. Hilarity (and lots of it) then ensues.

Also, a fair warning, if you are squeamish even the slightest bit about sex, this is not the movie to watch with your next generation family member. There's lots of sex, lots of sex talk, and lots of strategically placed doors, sheets, etc. hiding lots of sex body parts. Eventually you get to a point where you want to scream at the TV, "I get it! You have a much better body than I do!!" Bottom line, don't watch it with your Grandma.

This movie is not meant to be a deep exploration of the pros and cons of casual sex. It is meant to be fun. Therefore the fun scenes are hilarious and extremely well acted by the two stars (who have great chemistry, I could see why there were lots of rumors around the time this movie came out). On the flip side, when things take a serious turn and periphery characters are introduced things feel a little muddy and awkward. But at the same time, the plot (or at least the basic aspects of the plot) are somewhat believable. Friends start off being friends, then you get drunk and deciding hooking up would be a great idea, but in the process of this and getting to know each other you form an emotional bond with the person and want more. The questions these friends then face are: Save the friendship, save your heart, or throw caution to the wind? Funny enough, despite the fact that the serious parts of the movie drag, when Timberlake and Kunis are alone and serious with each other, talking about their feelings or relationship their chemistry is so strong it picks the pace up and pulls you back into the movie. Maybe not the best rom-com ever, but definitely up there because of that. I'd love to see another movie made by these two again when they're a little bit older just to see if they could do it again.

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