Quickie: Friends With Benefits

Friends with BenefitsWhen Dylan (Justin Timberlake) moves to New York for a big job, he and his new best friend Jamie (Mila Kunis) attempt to have a purely sexual relationship without any emotional involvement whatsoever. Can they manage it?

Everyone already knows the answer to this question whether they’ve seen the film or not, which is its biggest downfall. Whilst the horrendous amount of product placement is annoying enough, it’s nowhere near as annoying as the fact that Friends With Benefits very nearly managed to escape from the clutches of the middle of the road rom-com that the characters themselves are so keen to avoid, but ultimately ends ups decaying into mediocrity.

There are some genuinely funny moments here and much of the dialogue is witty and delivered snappily by the two leads. There is also a sobering and interesting story arc with Dylan and his dementia-suffering father that probably warranted more screen-time. However, just when you think this could break the mould or even ignore the mould altogether, it delivers exactly what you expect it to with a dulling inevitability. It also ends up feeling like little more than a vehicle for Timberlake, as many an eye is sure to be rolled at him flexing his muscles (vocal and actual) on more than one occasion. Of course, Kunis also manages to forget her clothes occasionally too. All of this doesn’t mean that Friends With Benefits is a bad film, just one that could have been so much more.

3 pigeons

3/5 pigeons

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24 thoughts on “Quickie: Friends With Benefits

  1. Yeah, I guess it could have been more. I thnk I wound up optimistic about it… I was just happy it didnt turn out to be worse than what it was. LOL Timberlake and Kunis were ok together, the concept is decent enough… it didnt suck terribly like most rom coms, so… 😀

    Nice review, man, you nailed it.

    • Cheers Fogs! Yeah it was by no means awful and wasn’t as bad as it could have been, However, I didn’t feel it was as good as it could have been either. But for what it was, it was decent enough. I thought Timberlake and Kunis had some good chemistry, they definitely did pretty well with what they were given.

  2. keith7198 says:

    Nice review. I tried watching this not to long ago but just couldn’t stay with it. It’s not that it was awful or unwatchable. It just didn’t hold my attention and I changed the channel. I’ll have to give it another shot.

    • It’s worth giving it a go if it’s on but I wouldn’t make any special effort to see it. It’s definitely one that you’re not gonna be dieing to see what happens, because it’s depressingly obvious what’s going to happen.

  3. CMrok93 says:

    Hahah! I see what you did with that title, my friend. You dirty little person you! Good review. I liked this one a lot more than I expected and I think that’s just because of the charm from the whole cast.

  4. filmhipster says:

    Ugh, not a fan of Justin Timberlake in film. I just can’t do it.

  5. I agree it could’ve been more. It’s clichéd as hell, but I really enjoyed this one. It was funny, witty, sexy and there was great chemistry between the two leads.

  6. ruth says:

    I actually have zero interest in seeing this one Chris. Not fond of the subject matter and Timberlake in the lead role. Looks like I’m not missing much.

  7. sati says:

    I thought the film was very average, Timberlake annoys me to no end. It’s a shame Kunis, Clarkson and Jenkins were wasted here, there were some funny moments I agree, but overall it was so forgettable.

    • Yep, pretty much spot on there! Average pretty much sums it up. It had flashes of something more but never got there. I don’t mind Timberlake but he annoyed me at times with this, especially when he starts singing or whatever. It’s like ‘yeah we get it, you’re a singer!’

  8. mistylayne says:

    I almost thought I’d seen this for a minute but then I realized that I watched this movie with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher…

  9. yep, agreed. and I didn’t mind how it ended. perhaps we’ve been conditioned to expect it and thus want the ending that this one gives. I actually appreciated the way they did this and the inclusion of the father’s situation. Mila and Justin worked well off of one another.

    Great review. Def better film than No Strings Attached.

    • I haven’t seen No Strings Attached but I think I’ll be giving it a miss if it’s not even as good as this. I liked the father storyline too as it added a bit more of a human element to the story. It was definitely the ending that everyone expected given the kind of film that it was, so I guess I shouldn’t really have expected anything more.

      • I think one of the biggest signs that a film is little more than a star vehicle is when nearly the exact same film (“Friends with Benefits/No Strings Attached”) comes out around the same time. Still, it’s nice to know that this one tries to push itself a little bit.

      • I can’t believe they got away with having two almost identical films. Yeah this does push itself a bit and it’s pretty well written for the most part but ultimately reverts to type, disappointingly.

  10. I haven’t seen this one in a while but I remember quite enjoying it. Much of the usual rom-com fare but plenty of laughs. The sub plot with Dylan’s father gave it a more unexpected dimension too.

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