I feel it is kind of biased to assess this film having seen Crazy, Stupid, Love prior to, however I will provide a brief critic of the romantic-comedy Friends With Benefits, starring once upon a time pop musician Justin Timberlake and the ridiculously beautiful Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around these two actors, Kunis from New York and Timberlake from L.A., and how their worlds come together when she gets him an interview and a job at G.Q. Magazine. Now, Timberlake being in a new city with only one friend commences the friendship that permits certain perks, and keeping your cloths on is not one of them.
What this film had that made it enjoyable and not completely a waste of ones viewing time is that Timberlake did manage to deliver to pretty good lines without making them sound too forced. For example, when he is talking to Kunis’ character over the phone trying to convince her to come to California with him for the Forth of July weekend, she questions whether or not his family will inquire about their ‘relationship’. He assures her that he has told them they are not dating and just friends, to which she is in awe about his honesty. Timberlake then chimes in saying, “Yeah we are one of those families that doesn’t lie to each other. PBS is doing a documentary on us.” Pause…yes, I actually burst out laughing at this. Now, the reason I say it is unfortunate that I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love before this is not that I’m comparing Timberlake’s and Ryan Gosling’s bodies (they are both divine), rather both films are self-reflective of their cliché’s and play them up, big-time! Both are always discussing the unrealistic fantasy ending or moments in cinema past where the boy gets the girl, resulting in love, twirly hugs, passionate kisses, and uplifting music that has nothing to do with the plot and is merely there to manipulate your mind into thinking you got what you wanted. I think Crazy, Stupid, Love did this more successfully only because the acting was better, but Friends With Benefits does have its moments and if you are in the mood for all the platitude’s of a romantic comedy to be played out with the characters being fully aware of how and when all these typical elements are unfolding, then this is the film for you.
Where I am able to fully declare that the first is better than the later is with the ending. Crazy, Stupid, Love shocks and then falls into what you expect, where as Friends With Benefits is predictable but endearing and leaves you on a high note. Also, the chemistry between Timberlake and Kunis is not as strong as Ryan Gosling’s and Emma Stone (who actually appears at the beginning of this film), as well as Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. However, they are a young good-looking couple so you can look past this minor detail as you fantasize about how you could be Timberlake’s F. buddy, or hey I would be Kunis’ if she would permit it.
May I add one thing, a proposal or demand if you will. Justin, please put out another album and I will go see your next ten films. Okay? Great. By the way, thanks for including Andy Samberg at the beginning of this film. He is truly a gem.