Friends With Benefits (R) - Runtime: 109 minutes
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis
Director: Will Gluck
Original Ranking: 29
After the success of No Strings Attached, Friends With Benefits seemed fairly redundant. But instead of playing the same notes as the other R-rated comedy, the movie is good, if not better than its counterpart.
Justin Timberlake is surprisingly funny in this movie - he's quickly becoming a great actor and one of the few crossover stars from the music world to successfully manage a movie career. As usual, Mila Kunis is brimming with hotness and awesomeness - she plays a rough and tough girl who's just "one of the boys." When both characters meet for the first time in the airport (a pretty smart choice for the writers - they're not best friends from childhood, which would make their sexual escapades a bit too awkward) there is a budding chemistry that's present and it slowly works its magic throughout the movie. Woody Harrelson provides more comic relief (and a lot of the raunchiness) in the form of Timberlake's co-worker/buddy. He has some great jokes and he should have been in more of the movie.
It's a fun movie and funnier if you enjoy R-rated humor - the movie does get a bit sappy at times, but its never overbearing or weighed down with melodrama. Although there are very serious moments when they go to LA and Timberlake's father is dealing with Alzheimer's. It's a bit sad, but it never really drags the movie down. In fact, it adds a whole dimension to Timberlake's character and you start to understand his motivations for undeveloped relationships. Mila Kunis has similar issues, but they're really light-hearted (her mom is a slut! Hardy har har!), so it's fitting to see these two broken individuals come to see each other as more than just friends.
There are a few missteps, however. The beginning scene when they first meet goes on a bit too long - the main crux is Timberlake is being headhunted by Kunis and in order to get him hired, she sells him New York City. It's an okay way to start, but they make NYC seem like the only place you can have fun - oh and there's flashmobs! Seriously, that's exactly what sold Timberlake on the job - a five year-old fad that could be replicated anywhere. Lame! They do leave a couple of loose ends about their families, too - Kunis never really knows who her father is and they never really resolve that issue, which is fine - but they kept bringing it up throughout the whole movie! Frustrating, none the less.
Aside from those small issues, the movie is great. It's a fantastic romantic comedy that most anybody can enjoy - it's not just for the ladies! Plus you have two very attractive leads and they get naked! So you can't go wrong with that - thank god we didn't have to see Harrelson's bum or anything like that.
Rating: See It!