Movie Review: Friends with Benefits (2011)

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Comedy
Tags: , , ,

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Executive head hunter Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) finds a job for Los Angeles based web-blogger Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) in New York as an art director for GQ magazine.  Jamie and Dylan have both gone through bad breakups.  Jamie’s boyfriend Quincy (Andy Samberg) breaks up with her,  and Dylan’s girlfriend Kayla (Emma Stone) breaks up with him.  Dylan and Jamie become fast friends, and decide to become friends with benefits, sex with no commitments.  Even though Jamie’s mother Lorna (Patricia Clarkson) walks in on them having sex, she doesn’t mind in the least, because she can’t seem to remember who Jamie’s dad is.  When she gets bored with the sex, Jamie decides she wants to date again.  Dylan and Jamie part as friends, and Jamie falls for a hunky oncologist named Parker (Bryan Greenberg) Do things work out for Jamie? What happens to Dylan?

I did not like this movie, because in the first half of the movie, everything’s light and happy, full of mockery, mocking those other romantic comedies for being so damn predictable, and then in the second half it becomes everything it mocks, and worse, it becomes a dramady, heavy on the pathos and melodrama.  It ties to be too trendy using flash mobs and casual sex to seem hip.  but there are several things that bother  me. The hippie chick mother, that character has become a cliché, but this movie does seem to realize that.  Before have casual sex, Jamie  and Dylan swear on a Bible App, and Jamie says “I’m a good girl.”  If she was a  good girl, she wouldn’t be a friend with benefits.  There are good, funny, characters in this movie.  There was Kayla, played by the always good Emma Stone, the always funny Jason Segal, playing the lead in a mock rom-com, and the always good Woody Harrelson, as gay sports director Tommy Bollinger.  Trouble is their roles were too small to make a difference.  Then there’s Justin Timberlake, once again trying to prove that he’s an actor, annunciating every word, emphasizing the wrong words, illustrating his bad timing.  Mila Kunis is just trapped in a bad script, she tries to bring freshness to this role, but she can’t.

With friends like this, who needs enimas.

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