Boy meets girl. Boy befriends girl. Boy and girl have sex. Then boy and girl have issues. Sounds boring, right? Like something you’ve seen a million times before. Well, believe it or not it can still be interesting. FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS is a shining example of that. Starring THAT 70’s SHOW actress Mila Kunis and all around superstar Justin Timberlake, director Will Gluck, from EASY A fame, has made a wonderfully fresh and hilarious romantic comedy.
The story revolves around two people who have had consistent bad luck in the dating game. The main reason for this is their deep seated fears of commitment. Timberlake’s character is still struggling with being abandoned by his mother while Kunis is battling with the life long absence of her father. Kunis works as a headhunter who convinces Timberlake to make a cross country move from LA to New York to work for GQ magazine. After the relocation the two become close friends and convince themselves that they can easily have a sexual relationship without feelings getting in the way. However, they soon discover that sex and feelings are impossible to separate.
This film was not only funny but also heartwarming. Timberlake and Kunis played wonderfully off of each other and, despite the expected cliches, the story still felt grounded in reality. Their personalities and experiences made them relatable and therefore likable. You can clearly see why they make the decisions they do and also why their friendship is so important to them. The additions of talented actors Patricia Clarkson, as Kunis’ free spirited mother, and Woody Harrelson, as Timberlake’s outspoken gay employee, made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. You may not like romantic comedies but if you like to laugh and feel good I suggest seeing FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.
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