Friends With Benefits

Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) is a web designer living in LA.  He is a workaholic.  And he’s emotionally unavailable.  This makes him very difficult to date, according to a string of ex-girlfriends.

Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) is a head-hunter in New York.  She is a hopeless romantic.  She’s always looking for Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet.  She’s “damaged” and needy, and more interested in being swept off her feet than the person who’s doing the sweeping.

Their paths cross when Dylan goes to New York to meet with Jamie about a job at GQ.  Of course, they had both been recently dumped, due to the reasons mentioned above.  Jamie convinces Dylan to move across the country to take the job.  It wouldn’t be much of a movie if she hadn’t.

The two immediately develop a close friendship.  And, like so many before, decide that they should just hook up.  With no strings attached.  They can do it without all the nonsense that makes relationships so complicated.  This works great.  At first.

Of course, they start developing real feelings for the other.  They include the other in parts of their lives they had not shared with anyone before.  Jamie with her secret “mountaintop” retreat.  Dylan with his family (Jenna Elfman and Nolan Gould) and ailing father (Richard Jenkins).  But Jamie is still “damaged” and looking to be swept off her feet.  And Dylan is still emotionally unavailable.

It’s a storyline that has been told countless times.  When Harry Met Sally.  No Strings Attached.  I could go on and on, but I can’t think of any more off the top of my head.  But we’ve all seen this movie at some point, just with different characters.  There’s nothing extraordinary done with the script.  They meet.  Hook up.  Start falling in love.  One screws it up.  Then that person has to figure out how to win the other back.  It’s formulaic and predictable.  As any good rom-com should be.

That being said, it’s not terrible.  There are plenty of funny parts.  There are plenty of over the top parts, where you can’t believe they “went there.”  So this one may be a little risqué for some of you.

I feel they could have done more to take advantage of the cast.  They got some big names, but didn’t use them to their potential.  JT should have gotten a little more involved with the flash mob, even if it would have been expected and pandering.  And are we really to believe that JT and Mila Kunis have that much trouble finding dates?

Like I said, it’s not a terrible movie.  It is exactly what you expect from this movie.  It’s an “I don’t have to think, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the story, even though I can tell you everything that’s going to happen” chick flick.  I don’t plan on sitting down to watch it a second time.  But it’s not a movie that makes me wish for my two hours back.

Friends With Benefits

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