Monday, August 1, 2011

Friends With Benefits

All the talk going in to this movie was how it was exactly like No Strings Attached. Judging from the trailers of the two films, that is very true, but I have never seen No Strings Attached, giving me a clean slate to think upon during this movie. I really thought that the movie would be purely comedy. It's obvious that a love connection would spark between Mila and Justin at some point in the film, but I expected hilarity up until that point. I am not a huge fan of Mila Kunis, but she is 3,000 times funnier than Natalie Portman, hence my watching Friends With Benefits rather than No Strings Attached. Did I expect great things from this movie? No, hence my going to watch Captain America first. But I am always up for a good laugh.

Before I move on to the plot, I would like to let all readers know that my girlfriend was absolutely disgusted by the abbreviation FWB. She told me atleast three times, so I figured that everyone should know how awefully dumb it is to abbreviate movie titles.

As is the case with most people, I go see a comedy for one reason... to laugh. For the first twenty minutes or so of Friends with Benefits, I didn't find myself doing much of this. Then, suddenly, the movie began to pick up in humor. But once the funny business was over, the plot became very serious. As I said before, the obvious love connection sparks, and mixed emotions get in the way. I am usually ok with the relationships in comedies, yet this one began to turn into more of a chick flick as time went on. Not only is there tension in the relationship between the main characters, but also Dylan (Justin Timberlake) has a rough family history and a sick dad. Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to see much emotion from a man in an R-rated comedy. Now that I have hated some, I do think that the approach was good and the idea brilliant. If they hadn't played up the comedy so so much in the trailers, I would have loved the family connections. This movie was actually thought up before No Strings Attached, so I will give them credit for turning this great idea into a film. The execution could have been better, the plot could have been less predictable, but the idea is genius.

As I said before, I am not a huge fan of Mila Kunis. I am one of the biggest That 70's Show fans you could ever meet, and I believe she was the weak link in the greatest TV comedy of all time. With that being said, I was impressed by her performance in Friends with Benefits. I do think she really utilized Timberlake's talents to her advantage and made me laugh multiple times. Justin Timberlake really wasn't as funny as normal, mostly because he was held back by his family issues. I did think the chemistry between Kunis and Timberlake was obvious, and I would not be surprised if this relationship carried over into the real world.

Best Character: Dylan's dad, played by Richard Jenkins, was really a great character. I know I said that I wanted comedy, but he really did a good job of adding the drama that was desired by the filmmakers.

Worst Character: Shaun White, played by Shaun White, was completely useless. There was a really hilarious joke about him looking like a girl, but other than that I was baffled as to why he was in the film.

Friends with Benefits was not exactly what I expected, but it was pretty good. I did laugh a good bit and also felt something for the characters, particularly Dylan. I have mixed emotions about the film. The plot was predicted by our waiter before watching the movie, which shows its depth. Even with the weakness of the plot, I do still love the idea, and my hat goes off to whoever thought to turn this into a movie. Friends with Benefits gets 2.46 out of 5 stars. However, I do want to reserve my rights to change my opinion on the film daily.

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