Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Friends with Benefits (2011)

“Shut up, Katherine Heigl, you stupid, little liar!”

Director: Will Gluck
Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake and Patricia Clarkson
Writers: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman and Will Gluck

Oh Hollywood, you seem to love the idea of friends with benefits at the moment. Many jokes and movies have been made around it; it seems to be the go to idea for romantic comedies. So with a little trepidation I watched this movie, expecting to get a chunk of cliché with tired inevitable results. Yet the movie starts off with characters complaining about romantic clichés, and hating how things are represented in the movies. Could these be a romantic comedy I can stand?

Well that’s a little complicated, there were plenty of parts in the movie that I did enjoy. The script does have interesting observations on romantic comedies, and it tries to be as original as possible. However the end of the movie slips into the clichéd ways of the movies it just made fun of. So how much credit can we actually give the movie? Is it trying to say that the clichés are a common factor in everyday life and no matter how hard we try we will fall into these clichés? Well I would say this movie wants to make you think, but it’s too light and breezy for that. In the end it seems like they had half of an original idea and didn’t now how to really right a sufficient ending for what they wanted to accomplish.

But despite the problems with the story, there is no denying that Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are great in their roles, and both have a chemistry together that is perfect for this film. Timberlake further impresses me with his comedic timing, and seems to be a man who is talented in many different arenas. Mila Kunis is also great, but I do wish she would do more movies like Black Swan. She just seems wasted in all these romantic comedies. Other than these two most of the actors fade from memory pretty quickly. There are some quick funny parts from Emma Stone and Andy Samberg, and Jenna Elfman isn’t too bad.

If you’re looking for a romantic comedy that’s easy to watch and has some elements you haven’t seen a million times, then you can give this a go. The central performances are sure to please, and the jokes hit more than miss. Yet I can’t help but feel this movie was on to something and then just misses the mark. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! Is this available on CD? I want to watch it because I think it's very romantic. Anyway, thank you for sharing!

    Producer Chris Young