Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Review- Friends with Benefits

Raunchy, nostalgic and pretty damn fun

After the whip smart and ridiculously funny Easy A, director Will Gluck really needed to come up with another big hit comedy. While not nearly as clever and thorough, Friends with Benefits is definitely worthy of being considered the best romantic comedy of the summer.  It also manages to blow the other "buddies who sleep together" comedy No Strings Attached completely out of the water.

Justin Timberlake plays Dylan, a talented art director who is considering a job at GQ magazine. GQ sends in headhunter Jamie to get Dylan to accept the job, but Dylan is hesitant as he would have to move from Los Angeles to New York. After an amazingly fun night out on the town, Dylan decides to take the job and subsequently continues his friendship with Jamie. Obviously, this normal friendship turns into one with sexual perks but the how, why and what happens are all part of the rest of the story.

Timberlake is really proving himself to be a great comedic actor. He's consistently hilarious on Saturday Night Live, winning Emmys for the famous "D**k in a Box" sketch and even being nominated for hosting this past season finale. In this film, he turns on the heavy charm and manages to dump his rockstar persona to give a good performance based completely on how the character was written. Mila Kunis is adorably funny and loud as Jamie, the self-proclaimed "damaged goods" who is undoubtedly the way she is because of her overly-sexed, crazy mother (played with real panache by the always amazing Patricia Clarkson). Woody Harrelson also plays an amusing supporting role as Dylan best guy friend and co-worker at GQ who happens to be gay.

The movie is not perfect by any means. It gets too sappy at times which normally would be perfect for a romantic comedy but in this case, it changes the tone set at the beginning. Also, there are not one but TWO flash mob sequences and a few too many technology jokes/references to truly enjoy. But just like Easy A, this film is at its absolute best when its being self-deprecating and making fun of the entire idea of romantic comedies. It's not the best comedy of the year, Kristen Wiig's brilliant Bridesmaids still holds that top spot, but it's definitely one worth checking out for the fantastic chemistry between its two incredibly likeable leads.


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