Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friends with Benefits

This morning I saw Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.

It's the age-old question: can two friends who are physically attracted to each other have a sex without developing feelings? The characters in this film bargain they can.

Jamie (Kunis) is the headhunter who convinces Dylan (Timberlake) to relocate to New York from L.A. for a great job with GQ. Since he knows no one in his new city, the two become buddies by default and are soon lounging around together on the couch watching movies.

Their attraction to one another is undeniable (and Timberlake and Kunis have enough chemistry to pull off the tension), but both were recently burned in previous relationships so they decide they want nothing from each other except sex.

And the filmmakers should be commended for their first sex scene—if couples would be as honest as these two are (telling one another EXACTLY what to do and how to do it) the world would probably be a happier place. Because they get all of the communication out of the way in their very technical debut encounter, they end up having a truly satisfying physical relationship, which almost achieves exactly what they wanted.

Until they decide to start dating other people.

The film then takes a very formulaic turn, throws in some family members (one with a sad ailment), a trip home and we all know where the rest of the story is headed.

But that's okay.

The clever writing, fun pop culture references (who doesn't fondly remember Kris Kross?) and generally lighthearted vibe make forgiving its flaws easy.

The two leads are a pleasure to watch and the story is something that should appeal to anyone who has thought "what if?" about one of their attractive friends.


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