A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Friends with Benefits
A headhunter convinces an art director from L.A. to take a job in New York at GQ. The two strike up a friendship and soon realize that they are both emotionally unavailable people who have relationship issues. They decide to make a pact to see if they can have a strictly physical relationship while remaining friends which of course cannot possibly work. Friends with Benefits, the second movie this year featuring a Black Swan lead about commitment free casual sex, is brimming with pop culture references and plays out exactly as you would expect it. It is however buoyed by the immense likability of its two young stars who are given a large assist by a fine supporting cast. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are both two beautiful people, but underneath all that they are extremely likable as well. Kunis embodiment of a real person and Timberlake's willingness to put himself out there give this film weight and help make us care about the characters. The supporting cast, which many would argue makes a film, is wonderful which includes Woody Harrelson, hilarious as Timberlake's flamboyant coworker, Richard Jenkin's as his dad, Jenna Elfman as his sister, and Patricia Clarkson, hysterical as well as Kunis' mother. Another asset of the film is the steady direction of Will Gluck who nicely captures the city and brings the same kind of charm he brought to last year's Easy A. Friends with Benefits is light and poppy but its entertaining as well due to good acting and nice craftsmanship.