December 30, 2011

Friends With Benefits Review

This past year two movies came out with essentially the same plot. There was Friends With Benefits, and another movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. I went with the one starring Mila Kunis. I don't know if that was the right choice or not. I didn't watch the other one, and I probably never will.

I didn't expect much out of Friends With Benefits, and that is probably a good thing.  It didn't do a whole lot other than parade Mila around in her underwear, which I'm not saying is a bad thing.

I always enjoy watching Mila, and Justin Timberlake can be quite good too. In this movie they play a couple 20-somethings that aren't currently looking for love, but want to totally get it on. They create an arrangement allowing them to be what else but friends with certain benefits. From reading that very brief description you probably have a pretty good idea of how the movie will go, and you would be correct. It stays well within the confines of rom-com cliche, and at times does't even do the "same-old" very well.  

Maybe I haven't lived in the big city where casual sex is rampant, but the setup of the plot seemed pretty preposterous. I chose to believe they were actually in love from the beginning, but denied it because they were afraid the other one would not reciprocate. This is the only way I can fit this movie into the realm of believability, and it very well may have been the intention from the director.  

Everything seems to be going well in the sex-friendship. They might even be progressing towards an actual relationship. Then comes the most awkward part of the movie. She goes on a trip with him and some problem has to be created that will move the plot onward and allow them to have the big make-up sequence at the end. The perturbation introduced to shake up the once happy sex fest felt really forced and really stupid. Then we have this side plot with the dad. As if it wasn't dumb enough things got even worse down the stretch.  

When all was said and done Friends With Benefits created no emotional response for me whatsoever. Still, I did laugh a few times and had a pretty fun time watching it. It is a turn-your-brain-off-for-2-hours type of film, and that is fine sometimes. Both Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are better than the writing in the movie, and let't not even bring up Woody Harrelson.  All in all it was a decent waste of a couple hours. I hoped it would do something to transcend the same old romantic comedy troupes we've seen for years. It doesn't.  

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