Friday, 14 October 2011

friday feeling: friends with benefits

For this Friday Feeling post I will be reviewing the romantic comedy, 'Friends with Benefits' staring the gorgeous Justin Timberlake along side the equally gorgeous Mila Kunis. 

I am not really a fan of romantic comedies as it seems that they are all painfully predictable. Despite my reservations, this romantic comedy is much more than your average 'chic flick' and although I don't think its converted me, it's always nice to watch two people fall in love. 

Set in New York City, the big apple is as big a character in this film as Jamie and Dylan.

Dylan, an LA Blog director, gets head hunted by a sassy Jamie who's job it is to find work for aspiring graphic designers. Jamie successfully manages to land Dylan a job as director of the New York-based GQ  magazine. 

Pretty soon after Dylan takes the job the pair decide to start sleeping together in a 'no strings attached' fashion.

At this point the audience can expect to see LOTS of sex, although is nothing shocking.

However pretty soon the 'no strings attached' dynamic to their relationship sees Jamie dating other men and Dylan partying with other women, a few of which are completely insane and enjoy armpit sniffing...this part of the film is particularly funny.

The casual aspect of their relationship does not sit right with either party and although they cannot admit to themselves that there is more to their relationship than just sex, eventually when they do, their reunion is entertaining and necessary.

Both characters have an equal amount of one-liners in this film and their dialogue is often faced paced and full of satire and sarcasm, all of which is typical of a rom com.

Whats more the characters are a lot more complex than they initially seem, which is perhaps what makes this movie a tad more interesting than your average romantic comedy.
Dylan in particular is a multifaceted character, who at first appears confident and cocky when it comes to his career and women. However half way way through the film we learn there is a lot more to him then meets the eye.

Dylan's father (played by Richard Jenkins) is suffering from Alzheimer's and it's destroying his beloved family. Dylan is embarrassed by his fathers worsening symptoms as he constantly talks about his mother who he had previously divorced, as well as taking his trousers off in public.

Similarly Jamie is daughter to Lorna (played by Patricia Clarkson) an unreliable rolling stone whose bad relationships have resulted in Jamie's bad spell of romance. Lorna is unaware of who Jamie's father is and Jamie believe it is this unknown relationship that has left her 'emotionally damaged'.

The two characters mock the whole romantic ending throughout the film. I particularly liked the bit when Jamie wonders why no movies are made showing what happens after the 'big kiss' and Dylan sarcastically replies; 'They are. It's called porn'. 

The two actors definitely have chemistry and it is incredibly cute when Dylan recognises Jamie's vulnerable side as she cannot swear without blinking.

Initially it would seem that the stereotypes in other rom coms are completely dismissed in this film, as the director Will Gluck attempts to subverts our expectations. However ultimately are expectations are met, as the two make their romance official in a dramatic scene which predictably involves cheesy music and grand gestures.

'Friends with Benefits' is undeniably comparable to 'No Strings Attached' with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, another film about emotion less sex that turns into a full blown romance. However I think that 'Friends with Benefits' definitely has more substance and the characters are likeable. 

Although I doubt that this film will win any Oscar's any time soon, it is worth watching as it is light hearted and entertaining.  Lets face it sometimes its nice to break away from all the horror/thriller movies and focus on something positive and refreshing.

*** I am giving this movie 3 stars out of 5 as although I thought it was entertaining, it did exactly what it said it wouldn't do; succumb to romantic stereotypes. 

Disclaimer: This review is based entirely upon my own thoughts and findings.  

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