Friends with Benefits review

Will Gluck
Justin Timberlake
Mila Kunis
Woody Harrelson
Jenna Elfman
Rated: R

“No Strings Attached” got it wrong, this got it right.

“Friends With Benefits” follows the story of Dylan (Timberlake), an editor who has just been offered a job as editor for a major magazine. Upon arriving in New York, Dylan meets Jamie (Kunis), who is his sort of temporary agent to help get him the job. Before going to work, Dylan and Jamie spend some time together exploring the city and eventually become good friends.

After Dylan gets the job he settles into the city and continues his friendship with Jamie. Eventually the two get really close however do not want to start a relationship, with both of them having bad break ups in the past. The two then decide to just have casual sex instead of a relationship so they won’t have to worry about having the issues of dating, however this raises come complications through out the film.

Now I know what everyone’s thinking, “isn’t this just like that movie No Strings Attached that just came out over the winter?” Well yes, it is in a way, the only difference is is that this movie far exceeds that of “No Strings Attached.” The story of Friends With Benefits does have some cliches in it, however they make it work here by backing it up with a lot of good jokes.

The acting was nice in it. Timberlake is actually building a fairly good track record, first with “The Social Network” and now with this. Mila Kunnis is great in the film as well and both leads seamed to have a good level of chemistry in the movie.

The characters were well done and very likable which is a must have in these romcoms. The side characters were funny as well, especially Woody Harrelson who had me laughing quite a few times through out the picture.

The writing for the comedy was the film’s absolute strongest part as I found myself laughing through jokes through out the length of the film. However the romance aspect of it was predictable and you can connect the dots fairly easily to see what will happen.

That being said, the love story in the movie still does work mainly due to the lead characters being well written and the actors having enough chemistry to really make it more believable then we’ve seen in past romcoms.

There have been a few romcoms with this sort of “Keep It Casual” idea lately, with the previous two being “Love and Other Drugs” and “No Strings Attached.”

However this was my favorite out of that genre so far and actually one of my favorite romcoms in a while. The characters were good and fairly believable, the comedy was funny and the romance while at times being cliche’d worked just fine for what this film was trying to be. 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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