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Cliché, predictable, but so honest and funny!
liso196622 November 2011
This movie was all things cliché and predictable. Even though you know what is coming, the honesty with life's little quirks and human behavior was incredibly well done.

Timberlake is an okay actor. I found him to be a fresh breath in this movie. The dialogue and scenario fit his charm quite well.

I found Mila Kunis to be quite funny, and she pulled off that cute, charming, awkwardly damaged woman, perfectly. She was chic, yet easy to relate too. Down to earth, but an air of success and confidence, hidden in all the girly dreams and fairy-tales.

If you want something original and never done before, this is the wrong movie to watch. If you wish to appreciate a good spin on an old concept with stellar humor and humanity, it is worth the watch..
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A Cliché Romantic Comedy that Pokes Fun at Other Romantic Comedies
threephil30 June 2011
I was able to see a sneak screening of this movie almost 1 month prior to it's official release. I honestly walked in simply thinking I was seeing another typical romantic comedy with my girlfriend. To my surprise it was much more.

Timberlake plays an LA Blog Art Director who has just been recruited to work for GQ in New York by Kunis who is a headhunter. The two had great chemistry through out the movie.

What's funny is that even though it does contain the usual Cliché scenes that most romantic adult comedies contain, it does tend to poke fun at them and have some sort of realism to the plot.

Both Timberlake and Kunis are likable and really funny. Woody Harrelson was the best addition to support this younger cast. Harrelson plays a flamboyantly gay sports editor who goes from making sexual advances to JT, to offering him some pearls of wisdom with his love life.

I would have to say this movie was very enjoyable and if your skeptical about seeing it in the theaters, definitely put it on your "must rent" list.
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Good chemistry for sure
itchywow26 July 2011
I was expecting to have to compare this movie with No Strings Attached (or whatever that movie with Ashton Kutcher was) all the way through however I was pleasantly surprised that the story was a bit more complex despite the obvious parallels.

Yes it's the typical "boy and girl decide to be friends only but end up loving each other" movie .... but I must admit that it was a lot smarter in the delivery. Timberlake and Kunis have a lot of chemistry on camera ... It's shot primarily in new york so expect the clichéd new york locations ...

The complexity of Timberlake's character is slowly revealed through the show as opposed to being revealed in the first 3 minutes like most other movies.

A good watch ... not slap your knee funny but certainly entertaining to the end ... clichés and all
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"Friends with Benefits"
jonathanruano7 April 2012
"Friends with Benefits" has a predictable and unoriginal rom-com storyline and its ending is pretty lame. Yet this movie coasts on the charisma of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis and a lot of sharp and witty dialogue. As long as these two actors are talking to each other or having sex, there is hardly ever a dull moment. And the reason for this seems to be simple enough. In most rom-coms, the actors play pretty dim-witted, boring and superficial people and therefore there is no reason to take interest in anything they may say or do. In this rom-com, "Friends with Benefits," Timberlake and Kunis play fresh, independent and smart people and for this reason we are interested in the lives they lead and what they say to each other. So "Friends with Benefits" does not have much of a plot, but that does seem to matter because on this rare occasion we are happily distracted by the magnetism of two capable on screen actors who are playing two well-craft parts.
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A sweet satire that's almost good (but not quite)
Samiam322 July 2011
What I can say for Friends with Benefits is that it's a cute movie that doesn't reach it's full potential. The main problem to me is that when it starts, the film is being played as satire and when it ends, it's being played straight. As a result, Friends with Benefits does not quite rise above the romantic material it mocks, but on occasion it's funny and adorable.

Actually for a while, the movie is on fire. The opening is cleverly handled, and is a good way to grab the audiences attention. Then for the next several scenes, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake demonstrate charm, comfort and overall competence and end up delivering a couple of the funniest sexual encounters I've seen in years. What I like about them both is that they bring enthusiasm to whatever they do, and this film is no exception.

Around the halfway point, the film starts to feel a little boring. with a running time of just over a hundred minutes, Friends with Benefits is not a long movie, and while it's not exactly short either, it feels shorter than it should be. There are a few hints to suggest that a longer movie was intended but the Studio may have forced a cut down. In addition to an ending that feels rushed, all the supporting characters in the story seem futile, and underwritten. Woody Harrelsson, for example, can be a really funny guy, but he's not given the material or the screen time, to make his appearance worthwhile.

The film has it's ups, it has it's downs. It doesn't end up being a bad Rom-com, but I've seen better.
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A raunchy sex comedy that starts off sweet but becomes sour all too quickly
DonFishies5 July 2011
I was unsure what to expect going into Friends with Benefits at an advanced screening a few weeks ago. It always seemed a bit too close in plot to No Strings Attached (made extra odd as the female leads Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman had literally just starred together in Black Swan), a film that came out less than six months ago, and while the trailers looked amusing, they seemed to look a little too close to an atypical romantic comedy. But the film actually ended up surprising me. Well, the first half at least.

Jamie (Kunis) is a headhunter in New York City who helps aspiring graphic design artist Dylan (Justin Timberlake) land a prestigious job at GQ. They become good friends, and after a discussion about their relationship failures, decide to start having sex without the relationship schmaltz (hence the titular phrase). But the good times cannot stay uncomplicated for long.

Rather surprisingly, the first half of Friends with Benefits is a ridiculously raunchy sex comedy that is sweeter than it is crude. The dialogue and one-liners drop at a steady pace, and there is plenty of laugh out loud moments. I was genuinely surprised at just how much I was enjoying the film, and how well co-writer/director Will Gluck (who knocked Easy A out of the park last year) helped capture the tropes and stereotypes of romantic comedies, and went entirely against them. The scene that starts the initial sexual antics is a complete dissection of the genre, and seeing the film twist and turn around the familiar plot devices was wonderful to see. It made the film feel hilarious, but also made it feel like it was attempting to do something different at the same time. Adding in a couple of random cameos from notable actors was a bit wacky (which the trailers have ruined slightly), but helped add to the humour.

Except the film comes to a screeching halt just about halfway in when Jamie and Dylan come to the all too obvious realization that they may want something more. The film then becomes drastically more dramatic, a lot less sweet, and significantly more ordinary. Even the laughs suffer, landing less with a snicker and more with a groan. Everything it does to shift itself away from the romantic comedy genre feels wasted because it falls into all of the stereotypes quicker than it poked fun at them. It almost feels like they wanted to desperately feel different, and then decided to just go the safer route as opposed to sticking with its offbeat early tactics. I was really enjoying the film significantly more than I imagined, but suddenly felt bored and totally thrown off by the drastic tonal shift.

While sketch comedy has proved to be one of his strong suits, Timberlake seems to have a lot of trouble carrying the film. We know he has the chops to command the screen and be absolutely magnetic (we have David Fincher and The Social Network to thank for that), but here he seems to be struggling with every other scene. He lands most of his jokes well, does decently with the dramatic bits and has plenty of chemistry with Kunis, but he lacks the spark I think most people will expect him to have in this role. He comes off as just okay, and more amateur than anything else. He would have been better suited in the film as a key supporting player, as opposed to the lead.

Kunis on the other hand, is significantly stronger and proves that her turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall may have been an early suggestion of the formidable comedic talent she may quickly become. Gluck is not able to achieve the same level of breakthrough that he got from Emma Stone in Easy A from Kunis, but she manages to carry the film almost single handedly. Even at the script's weakest moments, she grins and pushes forward, never once appearing to be struggling as much as Timberlake does. I think my only complaint against her is that she spends a good portion of the film completely nude, yet ends up wearing all too obvious pasties under a white shirt in one scene. It seems more like a complaint against a horrendously bad editing and lighting decision than against her, but it was a scene that made her seemingly-realistic character feel a whole lot less believable.

Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins both deliver good performances, but sadly feel like they are just plagiarizing from characters they have played better in the past. Jenna Elfman (who I did not realize was still acting) does a little better in a warm and significantly low-key role as Dylan's sister Annie. But it is Woody Harrelson who steals the entire show as gay sports writer Tommy. He plays the character ridiculously over-the-top, but never feels like he is encroaching on any stereotypes. He makes it his own, and is almost too good in the role. He gets all of the film's best dialogue quips, and runs circles around everyone on screen. In more than one instance, Timberlake looks legitimately shocked at some of the things Harrelson says and gets away with. I think the film could have only benefited from including more of him.

In the end, Friends with Benefits is both surprisingly well done and unsurprisingly ordinary. It tries so hard initially to be the anti- romantic comedy, and then just ends up falling into the same predictable elements that every other film in the genre has already done countless times before. The film is genuinely hilarious when it wants to be however, and this does save it from being a total waste. But it could have been so much more.

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A Nutshell Review: Friends with Benefits
DICK STEEL1 October 2011
2011 will probably go down as the year Hollywood tells us having F* buddies is OK and encouraged, with no less than three films this year set around the premise of pure sex without strings or emotions attached, with Love and Other Drugs and No Strings Attached setting the precedence earlier with an incredibly good looking cast in all sorts of undress - Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher - and added to the list will be current IT guy and girl Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis rolling beneath the sheets in a typical love story between the emotionally unavailable and the emotionally damaged.

Mila Kunis stars as Jamie, a headhunter in New York who persuades her target Dylan played by Justin Timberlake to ditch his young, upstart blogging team to join GQ (how's that for a little bit of subtle advertising) in revamping its website and to infuse new content ideas. A night out prior to the offer seals the LA based Dylan to relocate and take up the offer, with plenty of activities thrown in that if it's not Jamie being his only friend in a new, big city, they would serve as activities that would fit in for an awesome date night out. Before long they become firm friends, and made a pact to keep things physical since they each have their wants, and with the other party game to get down and dirty, so begins their game of tennis (though personally I prefer analogy with, and the term "bedminton" - it involves cocks after all). After all, why complicate what would be a beautiful friendship, if sex can be treated just as sex without the emotions thrown in to mess things up?

You know the clichéd drill by now, with things moving along fine and dandy, the hint of emotions coming into play to really turn things upside down, the narrative montage to show how frequent they mate like jackrabbits, before some large, needy episode or statements uttered that will probably reveal the true state of affairs, and the list goes on. Deny all you want, but one cannot help but to agree that the fairer sex will have things rough if pacts of this nature turn sour, and expectedly in a movie they always do, otherwise everyone will be happy without adversary, frustration and challenges to overcome and provide that change in strength of character.

And it is this power of the cliché that absolutely calls the shots in films like these. You know what will happen, but want to see them happen anyway even though you're multiple steps ahead of every character. And it is precisely these expectations that anyone would want to see covered, and try as the filmmakers want it is the clichés that they find hard to break away from, even if characters here proclaim very early on that romance in their world shouldn't be like an unbelievable Hollywood film, but in what would be art imitating art, look who's talking to begin with. And what's with the fixation about consistently taking the shine off the captain of US Airways Flight 1549 in its emergency landing onto the Hudson River?

Justin Timberlake is fast becoming the busy bona fide movie star since The Social Network, and continues his run with this film and In Time which will hit the screens here soon. He has that boyish charm that the camera just loves, and being a real life singer meant covering a number of songs here, from Stereophonics to Kris Kross made it look all too easy. Mila Kunis plays her role as the emotionally damaged girl with aplomb, and shares an effective chemistry with Timberlake that makes this film a delight to sit through, even if as mentioned the story's cliché and we know just about how these two nice looking people will likely get together.

The supporting characters while one dimensional almost always threaten to steal the show, from Patricia Clarkson as Jamie's sex crazed mom extending the lifespan of a running joke involving the nationality of Jamie's unseen dad, Woody Harrelson as the gay colleague of Dylan who always have innuendos offhand to share, Jenna Elfman who plays Dylan's sister and Richard Jenkins starring as Dylan's dad who's suffering from advancing Alzheimer's disease, which is especially poignant as it deals with the subplot of how a family copes with a loved one who's behaviour develops erratically, and holding the key to a pivotal personal experience to share and turn things around.

With Andy Samberg and Emma Stone making cameos (the latter being extremely crazy as a fanatical John Meyer fan), Friends With Benefits has its main leads to thank for in milking quite the cliché story for the masses, who are likely to make a beeline just to see those two in some down and dirty action, not that you get to see a lot to begin with anyway. Recommended, and stay tuned until after the end credits roll for more commentary when the two are sitting at a couch watching the outtakes of a DVD movie.
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Surprisingly Enjoyable with Great Chemistry Between its Leads,
lesleyharris3031 October 2014
Friends with Benefits is a good movie with a pretty well developed storyline and a fantastic comedic cast.I thought this would be exactly like No Strings Attached,and I really hated that movie so I wasn't going to bother watching this,but my friends told me it was much different and better,and while I didn't believe them I gave this a chance and I'm happy I did,it is much better and it isn't similar at all to No Strings Attached other than the set up of two friends having casual relations.I cared about these characters a lot and wanted them to get together,there was really great chemistry between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake,and there are also hilarious cameos from great comedy actors such as Woody Harrelson,Andy Samberg.Emma Stone,Rashida Jones,Jason Segel,among others.My favourite part of the movie was Richard Jenkins,he delivered a great performance and the emotional addition of him struggling with Alzheimer's was a good idea and very sweet,I cared about him more than anyone else.It isn't anything outstanding,but it's funny and certainly a better than usual romantic comedy that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good one.

Two friends who despise romance decide to add a bit of love making to their friendship without any complications.

Best Performance: Richard Jenkins Worst Performance: Patricia Clarkson
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Nothing New
holyspiritdriven16 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know what I expected from this packaged pre-frabricated Hollywood blockbuster so why did I feel like I wasted my $1.29 at Redbox (actually twice that for accidentally keeping the movie 2 nights). From the beginning, the dialogue was so full of quips and witty banter that the characters were never believable. The plot is basically the writer living out a fantasy of "no strings attached" sex which is a joke in real life because it's not how humans are made. In the movie, instead of learning that "no love sex" is impossible, the characters just decide they really do like each other (I'm not even going dilute the word "love" by using it here). The movie then proceeds to predictably fall into the romantic comedy trap that it made fun of in the beginning. Beside many personal annoyances (like Hollywood producers & writers always making movies about or based in New York or L.A. because they are ignorant as to any kind of life outside of those cities), I am beyond sick of movies diluting the beauty of sex by pushing the boundaries and tiptoeing on the line of pornography. This movie offers nothing more than the eye candy of Mila Kunis. If I were you I would not waste a Redbox dollar on it.
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A movie without benefits
SteveMierzejewski7 September 2011
Don't waste your time on this one. A weak, predictable plot highly dependent on simulated sex scenes between the two main characters to maintain viewer interest. Of course, if you're into that kind of thing, you'd probably think this was the movie of the year. If you're looking for some depth or acting quality, you've come to the wrong film.

And what's with Justin Timberlake? Is he gay or putting a little too much glitter on his speech to give it a gay twist? I'm not trying to be funny here because one of the running gags is that people keep asking him if he is gay. I suppose this is supposed to have us all convulsed with laughter, otherwise I don't have any idea why they are beating us to death with this angle. I suspect Mila Kunis did her best with the underdeveloped character she was given, and its the reason I rated the film so highly. Anyway, if you really want to explore the 'can men and women be friends' theme, watch the best in this genre, 'When Harry Met Sally'. At least you won't regret the time you spent watching it.
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Just like No Strings Attached but slightly different and still horrible.
hthbrr224 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead!

So when I first heard of this movie I got REALLY confused. Because a movie JUST LIKE THIS was JUST released it was called No Strings Attached. Wow it's official: Hollywood HAS RUN OUT OF IDEAS! They are so shameless about it now even. They don't even try to space them apart anymore to try and trick people! Like the Hulk reboots. At least they had YEARS separation. And people found THAT outrageous! These movies came out back to back! Here let me list the similarities between these two movies:

Both have the same plot: a male and female agree to be "fu(& buddies"

Both end up the same way: the male and female end up wanting more

Both have an actress that was in Black Swan; NSA: Natalie Portman FwB: Mila Kunis

Both have the male lead that was more famous in the 90's; NSA: Ashton Kutcher (That 70's Show actor) FwB: Justin Timberlake (N*sync singer)

Both have outrageous, BETTER, more interesting supporting actors/characters; NSA: the girl with the glasses FwB: Justin's gay friend.

Both have these people be at the top of their game and rich! NSA: the girl is a doctor and the guy I forgot but he was pretty well off FwB: The girl has a cushy job, and the guy is getting money thrown at him!

This last similarity brings me to my next point; the movie was unrealistic. This movie is taking place in a post-recession world. There are flash mobs, new technology, references to current things. YET in this movie companies are BEGGING people to work for them!? WTF!? THERE ARE NO JOBS! This was the MOST INSULTING DISGUSTING THING about this piece of (r@p movie! They will hire some #0re to FLY to LA to CONVINCE a guy WITH HIS OWN company to work for them. Doesn't that mean that they have to pay him more? It's for GQ magazine sure, but a mag has THAT much money!? And for what!? This guy does not even do his job! Knows nothing as proved by his gay friends question's like "What font did you use?" This guys 'brilliant' response; "I don't know. Times new roman?" Most of the time he is fooling around with the girl and doing other random $#!t!!!! It disgusts me that Hollywood does not get it! Life is not a fairy tale! People don't and CAN'T live these lives. That apartment Justin's character can supposedly afford (IN NEW YORK NO LESS!) even the rich struggle to get! WOW!

The only difference between these movies is the person that wants their relationship to mean more. In NSA it's the guy that wants more and the girl that doesn't "get it." In FwB it's the girl that wants more and the guy does not "get it."

Also I hated how this movie tried to be so hipster. Like it was trying to be so "cool." As if they were "better than" these movies they were making fun of. At this point pretty much ANY other romantic comedy is better than this piece of crap! Even NSA had the girl with the glasses - so funny! While this movie's stand out character; the gay friend, was barely even in the movie! Also the ending was a cop out they did not admit that they were wrong! Cynical to the end! Wow what idiots, what a pointless movie!
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Leave it to Justin and Mila to make a better "No Strings Attached"
neji10716 June 2011
So is Friends With Benefits better than No Strings Attached? Yes. And if that's all you needed to settle a bet with your friend, you can go call him up now and plan a trip to the theater July 22 to find out why.

Justin Timberlake has proved once again that he can actually act... Pretty well, actually. And that automatically puts him lightyears ahead of Ashton Kutcher. Additionally, Justin and Mila have some excellent and convincing chemistry that really supports the film, along with a handful of jokes and hilarious cameos that make for some good laughs. But the story falls flat where it tries to parody the typical romance movie because ultimately, it adheres to the exact same chick-flick formula: Guy meets girl, they hit it off, complications arise, they fall apart, they resolve their issues, and voilà... happily ever after. And Mila's mother in the movie... where have we seen her character before? Oh that's right, literally copy+pasted from Easy A.

I suppose you probably wouldn't expect anything more out of this movie than the run-of-the-mill romance comedy, but it's a solid one at that and worth your while if you're interested!

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Why did i expect more?
dave-995-2885202 September 2011
I saw the advert for this on TV and thought that this could have potential to watch with my girlfriend so we went to see it. Ohh how i was wrong, i can honestly say i can't think of a worse film i have seen all year. The acting was terrible the storyline was predictable the editing was shocking too.

The whole film seems rushed in the sense that for the 1st 20mins the conversation is back and forth so fast it all drowns in to one monotone noise. It does ease off a bit towards the end but it was too little too late.

I can see JT being in films as a cameo role but to be a lead actor that takes some acting talent which he has none of.

I want the 90mins back of my life.
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A film with nothing
dbrando29 July 2011
Friends with Benefits seems like it might be a satire of Nora Ehpron's feel good films,or Neil Simon's one dimensional types with just TV cracks as substitutes for any kind of genuine dialogue. Not the case here. This film makes Ephron's screenplays and directed films, along with N. Simon's stuff, look like classics. Friends with Benefits has no acting in it, except for Patricia Clarkson, and she is debased as one of those old women- mothers who swear and screw around with men etc.

There isn't one line that is funny,there is not a scene between Timberlake and Kunis that has any chemistry to it. He is always seen as potentially gay, and Woody Harrelson's gay character keeps us wondering, if anyone would care to wonder.

Timberlake plays it all as sort of gay and sort of straight, but comes up neuter. I think the reason why there are so many nude shots of him is because you never take his gender seriously, like one of the dwarfs in Snow White, you never fear for Snow White's sexual safety; the dwarfs have nothing that would cause fear. So it is with Timberlake. Even when there is sex between Kunis and Timberlake, it looks like wrestling at summer camp.

The Altzheimer scenes are appalling, along with the gay male model scenes that are deeply homophobic.

This film needed a script, director, producer, and stars, not non-actors, who stomp around the set with no sense of mimesis, mimicking at all.

Avoid this, and watch "The Nanny."
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Actors talk at people, not to them
herbqedi27 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the movie for the video generation - all flash mobs and photography. Some very good actors (Emma Stone, Patricia Clarkson, and Richard Jenkins) do their best with clichéd caricature actors (the shrewish ex-girlfriend, the lost-in-the-70's mom; and the father with Alzheimiers with a propensity for taking his pants off. Only Jenna Elfman as Timberlake's sister comes off as an actual human being. Woody Harrelson is horribly one-note as the obsessively gay sports Editor but it's okay because he's hip. This movie tries to be as hip as it can be by pretending to be a spoof on Hollywood Romantic comedies while actually making one. But, it's not really a romantic comedy at all despite the tacked-on cliché ending. It's really vulgar.

They talk at each other saying inappropriate things and never listening to each other. Both are gorgeous - I'll give them that. But, that's just about all. Their love-making sessions include some crude exchanges and interludes with Timberlake's slapstick routing about a male situation making it too hard to urinate normally chewing up about 4 minutes of film time. I've seen some reviews saying that the two leads had great chemistry. As far as I could tell the two were filmed separately, then spliced together. In a similarly themed movie, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman had 100 times the chemistry these two did. Of course, Portman is a much more profound actress than the flippant Kunis (see Black Swan).

Okay, that's probably enough. I wasted nearly 2 hours of my life watching this so I need spend no more time on it now.
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Most unnatural play ever
sarmadys19 August 2011
I have been a member on IMDb for almost 10 years and never wrote a review. This film made me so shocked that I came here just tow write this review.

This has been one of the few most unnatural films I have seen. The story line, the way they act, the way they talk, and almost everything else seems strange.

The 2 main actors talk loud like they are performing in a theater. The story is full of strange things. The guy is supposedly working in web business (my field for almost 20 years), yet it does not make any sense to me. You gather 20 colleagues to select a photo for your website?
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H-A-T-E the "music"
amatrimonials19 June 2012
Aight, the picture itself is not too bad. It's clichéd, shallow, crude, predictable. It's replete with impossibly talented non-entities cracking wise left and right. Both women and men, gay and straight, are portrayed as annoying jerks, without any old-school values or integrity. If the human race ever devolves to the specimens as depicted in this movie, I'm getting a one-way ticket off the planet.

All that, however, can be glossed over.

What REALLY got to me, and which got me to write this feedback is the supremely irritating muzak. I mean, literally EVERY SINGLE scene concludes with a score, and each and every score is basically some schmuck banging on a guitar and intoning nondescript, forgettable words. It's the kind of thing that passes for "profound" in a hippie commune with everyone stoned and half-comatose. I don't know what genre it officially is... - "indie," is it? I know the said "music" is meant to give pause for thought, reflection, to make us pensive... - but it's just imbecilic and bland. It totally lacks any character. Jeez Alou, you could literally replace all the so-called lyrics with "nya nya nya" in the style of someone who takes a break from drooling into a cup, and the effect would be identical.

Anyway, so the O.S.T. entirely ruined for me what would otherwise have been a 5/10 feature.
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Friends with eventually regular Hollywood clichés
dsa_ca23 July 2011
There is a recurring adjective that is attached with Mila Kunis's character Jamie which is used by all her sex partners to their advantage i.e. she is emotionally damage. According to Justin Timberlake's character even Magnum P.I cannot solve the case of what's going through Jamie's head when she thinks relationships. What makes a person emotionally damaged is not really elaborated in the movie. She is raised by a single mother, but the quest to know who her father was, is more or less laughed off. While she breaks up with her relationship with Andy Sandberg, it seems she has enough admirers as Shaun White is shown as one of her secret admirer and she also has a passionate set of friends with whom she parties around. So what exactly is her state of being emotionally damaged related to? Or is it a statement that would help the director bring some complications with her friend that provides sexual benefits Justin Timberlake! That might be the case in this totally romantic comedy film.

The new romantic comedy 'Friends with benefits', which does not shy away from taking a shot at mocking at every romantic comedy clichés, more or less falls into trappings of the romantic genre from the beginning. Mila Kunis (Jamie), a corporate headhunter in New York, is just out of a relationship with SNL fame Andy Sandberg, while an upcoming blogger in Los Angeles, Justin Timberlake (Dylan) is also dealing with a break up with his girlfriend played by Emma Stone. When Jamie sets up an interview for Dylan at GQ magazine, he comes up in New York and meets Jamie for the first time at the airport. Right from the beginning Jamie performs all the cute stunts a romantic comedy female lead is expected to but also balances out by mocking Hollywood's take on romance and New York. Soon after Dylan moves into NY City to take up the job, Jamie gets him into her friends circle and they both start hanging out together watching Hollywood Romantic comedies and mocking it. But they both are missing sexual intimacy in their lives and since Jamie is emotionally damaged and Dylan claims to be emotionally unavailable they both decide to have just a sexual relationship without any emotions involved.

It's all fine and dandy till all the sex lasts for them and unfortunately for the audience as well. Once the sex dries up the movie just goes south and we are introduced to all the regular clichéd family characters. As Dylan takes Jamie to his home in Los Angeles for the 4th of July weekend, we are introduced to Dylan's good hearted elder sister Jenna Elfman (Annie) and her magic obsessed son Sam and more importantly Dylan's Alzheimer inflicted father Mr. Harper played earnestly by Richard Jenkins. The stories about Dylan's not so happy childhood is what eventually melts the heart of our emotionally damaged Jamie and they go on to have their first sexual encounter added with emotions. But these emotions are only noticed by the emotionally damaged girl, while emotionally unavailable boy clearly ignores and start off a chain reaction of complications in their friendship. So this is what is served as suspense romantic complications to our audience and since this is a pre-determined summer blockbuster the eye candy and emotionally hopeless couple have to get back together. How? Well with the usual Hollywood charm and pot full of cliché ridden sequences.

For a movie that mocked the romantic comedy genre at regular intervals during the first half of the movie, it was quiet an irony that it had to use more or less the clichés from that same genre to bring the movie around its eventual happy ending. And for all the dissing of Katherine Heigl by Mila Kunis, she is the new Ms. Heigl for romantic comedies. Easy on eyes with magnetic screen presence Ms. Kunis has the charm to breeze through the clichés of this particular genre of films. Justin Timberlake also provides an insight of what to expect in the future in his acting career as he also elegantly passes romantic comedy test.

As for the film, apart from the intimate relationship and scenes between Justin and Mila, it always seems to be hanging on extreme to carry some laughs. Woody Harrelson plays its Gay sports editor part with good amount of enthusiasm, but Patricia Clarkson as Mila's flirtatious sex obsessed mother just tries to be extreme and we should be thankful that few scenes from the promotional videos were edited out from the final reel. While there is another extreme moment between Justin and his wild date who tries to act as being wild in bed by licking and smelling Mr. Timberlake's armpit, which neither grosses out nor induces laughter but guarantees yawn from the audience.

To an audience who has seen it all in this year's romantic comedy hit 'No strings attached', which was also about friends 'hooking up' just for the pleasure of the whole act; Friends with benefit has nothing new or better to offer. It glides along on the charm of its two leads, but fails to hide its flaws as a good romantic comedy entertainer.

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Avoid this film like the plague
Greatornot14 August 2011
I was actually embarrassed for the headline actors, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. The material was not good nor were the jokes. Justin Timberlake was bad enough to begin, as usual. Mila Kunis is normally better than this. I guess she was playing down to her material and co-star. Either way the acting was horrible as was the plot and the direction. A negative trifecta. If there were any redeeming factors to the film it was the supporting actors. All of which I felt did an excellent job with the material they had to work. Patricia Clarkson, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins and even Jenna Elfman, respectively. The film was predictable which is OK in this genre. Just a sloppy project in every facet. Save your time and bypass this one.
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Sony placement movie
rajan24207 January 2012
OK, what you see from the beginning to end is a display of Sony products.

A deliberate and a ridiculous scene is placed just so that the characters could be seen playing the Sony playstation.

The couple watch a show on a.......Sony TV.

If they use a laptop it would be a VAIO .

And of course, the background music is composed of artists that come from the Sony records label.

The film ? Well the guys were so focused as to how the place the Sony products that they turned the movie into a total crap.

It is NOT a romantic comedy. It does not have any class. The characters debit dialogs straight from the gutter.

I used to have a high esteem of the Sony Group. This movie produced in me the opposite effect. I would buy any label except this.
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Unbelievably irritating
ozi_wozzy6 October 2013
I was staying in on Saturday night and wanted to watch something light hearted and humorous. Friends with benefits seemed the perfect fit. Mila Kunis is usually talented and Justin Timberlake has done some good stuff. Add to it the glamour of NY and sharp comedy, things looked promising.

I lasted about 30 minutes. I don't know how they managed turn talent and sharp humour into something so annoying. Mila Kunis came across as a fake, arrogant brat and Justin Timberlake had about as much charm as a broom stick. I ended up just being irritated by a lot of things in the film. Such as when Mila Kunis asks Justing Timeberlake if he thinks she's pretty. This is Mila Kunis - voted the sexiest woman in the world for god sake. They both have glamorous jobs, look perfect and have perfect blend of humour and wit...just too damn perfect with absolutely no touch of reality. Not even a hint of chemistry between the two.

It's such a shame because Mila Kunis was excellent in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and her voice over work in Family Guy is brilliant. So I can only blame the director in this movie for turning her into such an annoying character. As for Justin Timberlake...bland, just bland.

Irritating film. Luckily, Predator was on and saved the evening. At least Arnie can do proper humour.
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Tedious and unfunny
Yellolo4 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is just...ugh. I got halfway through it and realized that I literally did not care what happened at all. I wouldn't have cared if one of them was hit by a truck and died, that was the result of unconvincing characters who just sound like their spewing out bad jokes from their memorised script. This movie didn't even have the bright side of good actors, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis may be easy on the eye but are mediocre actors at best, you only have to watch MK in Oz: The Great And Powerful to see what I mean. It's just so boring and predictable and as the movie goes on it gets more and more cheesy. The plot is so unbelievably cliché that you only have to read the description on the back to know what's going to happen.
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Insulting romantic comedies, its fans, and everything else
napierslogs31 October 2011
The thing about 'Friends with Benefits" is that you have, in fact, seen it before. Not in the generic way the film implies that all romantic comedies are the same. But this exact movie was released earlier this year with the title "No Strings Attached". And what's worse is that vapid, uninspired, Hollywood-love-fest original is actually better.

Unashamedly, I admit that I like romantic comedies. I do get very upset when Hollywood makes stupid ones that I don't like it, but I still watch them. The problems here stem from the fact that "Friends with Benefits" is a romantic comedy but thinks that it isn't. One of the jokes that lasts the entire run-time of the movie is that romantic comedies suck and the people who watch them are fundamentally stupid. I don't like being insulted and I especially don't like being insulted by something that is trying to survive on put-downs and pretending to be better than the very genre they belong to.

There is a fake romantic comedy that plays during this movie, usually serving as fodder for insults, and allows the film to point out everything that is wrong with it. I don't think the filmmakers are so daft to not realize that they are doing the exact same things, but I do think they expected their audience to not pick up on it.

Recently Jason Segel has been doing the rounds promoting his new Muppets movie. One of the points he likes making is that the humour is pure and innocent; that the jokes don't insult or put-down anyone or anything. I like Segel as much as the next person, but it astounds me that he could be so hypocritical that just three months earlier he appeared in a movie where every joke insulted somebody or something.

And I do mean every joke. We start with John Mayer insults and the obligatory Katherine Heigl jokes, move on to standard romantic comedy insults, then come back with some out-of-place jokes making fun of the Hudson River-landing pilot, and on the way back to more romantic comedy insults, shoot off some remarks about Kriss Kross, '90s pop bands, and of course, homosexuals. And I likely forgot some.

Contrary to the current popular stance, I like Justin Timberlake. He has been in a lot of movies recently, and he's usually one of the best things in them. He also has no problem insulting himself. Surprisingly, the movie never took that path.

If for some reason, you're still watching, beware that "Friends with Benefits" probably has the highest product placement total in recent history. There's a reason Timberlake's character is a marketing exec at GQ – if they didn't make enough money at the box office, they would have off of their sponsors.

To be clear, "Friends with Benefits" is a romantic comedy. Girl is emotionally damaged, boy is emotionally unavailable. Girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, but let's see how long before they both give in. If you don't like romantic comedies, then you won't like this. If you do like romantic comedies, then the filmmakers think you have a worthless opinion and you won't like it anyways. It is odd how that works out.
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What Crap.
archybunka30 May 2012
"What Crap", would have made a much better title for this ridiculously foul movie.

What is it foul? Do we really need to an explanation from Timberlake on why it's hard to urinate when a man is excited?

The film is replete with vulgarity's like this. It appears that rather than building on the film's few qualities, and it has a few, the producers decided to educate the opposite sex (whichever you happen to be) with crude innuendo on the other. It would appear they were trying to make the film interesting to 13 year old's.

This odd downplay to the audience in general goes hand in hand with the fact the film is simply a rehash of "No Strings Attached".

Mila Kunis, I expected better from you following, "The Black Swan"

Justin Timberlake, I expected nothing from you following, "Yogi Bear".
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penciler7 August 2011
I was surprised to learn that this film was by the director of the engaging "Easy A." In "Friends with Benefits," he elicits so-so performances from a wonderful cast as if it was his central purpose.

The script was written by three men, but sounds as if written by a middle-aged-plus lady a la the horrible Nancy Meyers, straining to seem "daringly" dirty, up-to-the-minute hip and fitfully "meta." There are plenty of references to movies and digital culture, but few laughs, and I never felt any human connection with the characters. The dialog is delivered in a pressured way, with each new line beginning at the instant the previous speaker finishes, with never a pause or overlap. The editor would usually cut at that instant, giving some scenes a very clunky rhythm, with consequent injury to any flow or naturalism.

FWB's scattered references to standard romcom memes don't seem so witty finally, given the script's failure to subvert or transcend them. Its would-be feel-good conclusion is unearned and false.
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