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Friends with Benefits

A 2011 movie directed by Will Gluck.

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As engaging as a one-night stand, a decent one.

  • Jul 22, 2011
Dating is complicated. The scene today can be so cold and callous that most people in it are forced to disengage emotionally from it in order to survive. Enter Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits, director Will Gluck’s follow-up to last fall’s breakout comedy, Easy A. They have a plan that will save everyone from the walls they’ve erected around their hearts by using those walls as the foundation for their mating practices. The logic is that if you’re already emotionally messed up, then you can avoid further damage by not involving emotion anymore. Voila! Dating oversimplified.
Timberlake and Kunis play Dylan and Jamie, two New York City singles at the top of their professional games who have essentially taken themselves off the market to preserve their already battered hearts. They click instantly when they meet and the fast friends decide they should take advantage of their natural chemistry and see if it translates in the bedroom, except without all the mushy stuff. Once they get going, they can’t get enough of each other but is it the sex they’re addicted to or is it each other?
Friends with Benefits tries very hard to disassociate itself from your typical romantic comedy but doesn’t realize that it actually plays into most of that genre’s conventions simultaneously. Fortunately, Timberlake and Kunis are adorable together; their chemistry and comedic timing endears the viewer to their plight, however trite it is, and saves the film from total cliché. Still, the light, casual tone of their relationship, I mean, arrangement, permeates to the rest of the film, making it just as tricky for us to connect emotionally as it is for Dylan and Jamie. It may be about a casual sexual relationship but it plays out more like a one-night stand.

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As engaging as a one-night stand, a decent one. As engaging as a one-night stand, a decent one.

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July 23, 2011
I am on the fence with this one. Reminds me a lot of that Portman movie awhile back. But I liked Easy A so I'll give it a shot. 7/10 from you is pretty good I suppose.
July 25, 2011
The major difference between FWB and NSA is that in NSA, Kutcher was obviously fooling himself into thinking he could be with Portman and not feel anything. The character had a historic crush on her. In FWB, they both go into it with the idea that neither wants more.
July 25, 2011
Great review - I'm also on the fence but this simple breakdown of the film definitely helps. :)
August 14, 2011
Thanks .. glad I could be of assistance. Definitely more rental than anything else.
More Friends with Benefits (2011 mo... reviews
review by . July 22, 2011
‘Friends with Benefits' Has Some Benefits
Ashton Kutcher and the girl on everyone’s minds, Natalie Por…Oh, oh wait. How could I get No Strings Attached from earlier this year confused with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis’ Friends With Benefits? Yes, they’re the same plot; extremely attractive friends who decide sex is possible without emotional commitment and then are met with a whirlwind of romantic comedy clichés. But this one has a girl from That 70’s Show and the other …
Quick Tip by . December 20, 2011
Yes, this is the same story as that Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman flick, No Strings Attached. I just like the chemistry and acting of JT/Mila Kunis much better. There was more comedy in this one and yes, of course, the same message of the impossibility of guys and gals being eff buddies, so they have no choice but to fall in love with them. Then again, who wouldn't fall for JT? Just sayin...There were better scenes in this one and Woody Harrelson who added so much to this film as a gay Sports editor, …
review by . July 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Although the January release of Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached was nothing special, it had just enough for me to give it a passing grade. We now have Will Gluck’s Friends with Benefits, and although it’s founded on the exact same premise – a man and a woman having a go at casual sex – there’s no question in my mind which of the two films is superior. Here is an intelligent, perfectly cast romantic comedy that …
review by . July 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
If you find yourself walking to the theater and not wanting to see a superhero movie, you may turn to the romantic comedy Friends With Benefits and think to yourself I've already seen this movie. While the premise is exactly the same as No Strings Attached, FWB seems to benefit from having taken the extra time to develop their writing and the chemistry between the two leads. It is still the same movie but this version of friends who just want the physical without all the …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie


While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood romantic comedies, Dylan (Timberlake) and Jamie (Kunis) soon discover however that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications.
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Director: Will Gluck
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 22 July 2011 (USA)
Studio: Castle Rock Entertainment, Olive Bridge Entertainment, Screen Gems
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