Friends With Benefits Movie Review

A smart, witty script and a likable cast help overcome the deep-seated rom-com cliches the filmmakers set out to deconstruct. But the central couple's strong chemistry and a stream of lively side characters keep us involved and entertained.

After a humiliating breakup, Dylan (Timberlake) meets with high-achieving headhunter Jamie (Kunis) about a new job. Friendship blossoms, and since Jamie is emotionally damaged after a recent split and Dylan is emotionally unavailable, they decide to sleep together without any deeper attachment.

Meanwhile, they get increasingly involved in each others' lives, most notably as Dylan and his sister (Elfman) cope with their senile father (Jenkins). Of course, the main question is whether Dylan and Jamie can remain friends even if they have sex.

In the real world, there might be a complex answer, but this script instead opts for amusing situations and some vaguely serious relational issues, ultimately settling for predictable Hollywood morality. Which is somewhat disappointing since the script cleverly undermines stereotypes and expectations before it gives into the old formula. But there are so many terrific moments along the way, that we don't mind too much.

Timberlake and Kunis develop a sparky rapport so well that we almost believe the premise. These are beautiful, intelligent people who are believably attracted to each other and understandably reluctant to dive into another relationship. Their family and work interaction is engaging as well, especially with a superior supporting cast that includes Jenkins and Elfman as well as Clarkson (as Jamie's mum), Harrelson (as Dylan's gay colleague) and several hilarious cameos.

As it continues, there are some corny missteps (such as the running gag about Dylan's inability to add two numbers together), but the actors make the most of the snappy dialog, breathing life into characters who would be caricatures in less-skilled hands (Clarkson and Jenkins are particularly good, as always).

Meanwhile, Gluck's sharp direction and editing keep the pace brisk and often laugh-out-loud hilarious, while also allowing things to get meaningfully emotional now and then. But even though the film wins us over, a braver approach could have made it much more memorable.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Liz Glotzer, , Martin Shafer, ,


Friends With Benefits Rating

" OK "

Rating: 15, 2011


More Justin Timberlake

Six Of The Worst Grammatically Incorrect Song Lyrics

Everybody loves a good pop song, but sometimes you can’t help but cringe when the lyrics are just bad beyond comprehension. Pop obviously isn't...

Celebrities Take Part In The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge [Photos]

It’s not just you and your friends getting nominated to take the ALS awareness ice bucket challenge; celebs from lists A-Z are getting involved, and...

Nice Guy Justin Timberlake Strikes Again: How A Stadium Sang "Happy Birthday" To An 8-Year-Old Boy

Justin Timberlake just proved – yet again – what a cool guy he is. After all, it’s not every day that a performer will interrupt...

Justin Timberlake Stops Sold-Out Concert To Sing 'Happy Birthday' To 8 Year-Old Fan

Justin Timberlake knows how to treat his fans right, the 33 year-old singer was recently playing in front of a sold-out crowd at San Jose,...


Walking In Memphis! Check Out The History Of This Tennessee City From Budweiser Made in America

Budweiser Made in America is getting closer all the time as we explore the nation's most musically cultured cities. Now we hit Memphis, whose famous...

Beyonce To Receive Vanguard Award At The VMAs. But Mostly, YES, She Will Perform!

Umm, Beyonce will be performing at the MTV Video Music Awards... is anyone really , surprised? Bey is everywhere these days. In the wake of...

After 'Bang Bang,' What Are Some Of The Best Triple Threat Pop Songs?

The only thing better than one pop star on a song is three, right? How about a combination of Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki...

Paul McCartney: Just One in a Long List of Celebs Who Love a Good Proposal

Paul McCartney made two fans’ dreams come true at a recent concert in New York by pulling them both up on stage and stopping the...