How many times have you even kidingly used the term, friends with benefits? Be honest now. Whether you're a teenager, young adult or a middle age person the term has come up in conversation. And now it has blossomed into a movie on the big screen.
"Friends With Benefits" was a disappointing third in box office receipts in it's opening week but should have some lasting power in theaters due to good reviews. It's actually the second movie this year built around the same theme as "No Strings Attached," which came out months earlier. Both movies attempt to see if two people can have sex without emotion, and without getting further involved. The short answer to the question is "no," but it's fun to see how it all comes about.
"Friends With Benefits" stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Both actors are up and coming and both are good looking on the big screen. Kunis in this movie plays a head hunter who recruits Timberlake (an art director) to New York to work at GQ magazine. The initial scene between the two was very contrived for my taste, since both were reciting lines only a screen writer could conceive. At that point I thought this movie was headed to the dumper. But, it quickly picked up and eventually the two had their initial sex romp which was more funny then sexy. I must admit that Timberlake and Kunis handled that scene as well as could be expected.
As the movie goes on the two start falling for each other, but neither wants to admit it to each other or themselves.
Strong supporting performances lift this movie even higher as Woody Harrleson plays a gay sports editor, Patricia Clarkson plays Kunis's hippie mother and Richard Jenkins (always good) plays Timberlake's father, who is afflicted with early Alzheimer's.
This movie starts out as a modern day rom-com but towards the end evolves into an old fashioned love story with a happy ending. Maybe I'm getting older and sappier, and glad it did because, I liked both characters and I wanted to see them admit their feelings.
I liked this movie and I really like both Timberlake and Kunis, and hope they can share the screen again soon. I'm giving "Friends With Benefits".... a triple, three stars.