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Friends (With Benefits) (2009)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  5 July 2010 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 262 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

Meet Chloe and Owen: best buds since their sandbox days. Now, in med school as they attempt to balance the weight of their studies, his job, her band, their parents, their friends (their ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Laney ...
Chloe
Alex Brown ...
Owen
Anne Petersen ...
Alison
Jake Alexander ...
Jeff
...
Shirley
...
Brad
Marc Balfour ...
Richard 'Dick' Weed
Irene Longshore ...
Polly
...
Tatiana
...
Bill Fairbairn ...
Owen's Father
...
Owen's Mom
Ashley McGarry ...
Ashley
Sam Dingman ...
Sam
...
Jason
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Storyline

Meet Chloe and Owen: best buds since their sandbox days. Now, in med school as they attempt to balance the weight of their studies, his job, her band, their parents, their friends (their sanity), they find little time for relationships...but lots of time for the desire. One fateful day, a brave Owen proposes the "perfect" solution: Friends (read: no messy relationship stuff)...with benefits (read: insanely messy sex stuff). "Perfect," that is...if the two hadn't always been secretly in love with one another So what DOES happen when two close friends decide to secretly blur the lines dividing friendship and relationship...and the rest of their tight knit group of friends finds out? The answer: complications arise. A LOT of complications. In fact, to quote their therapist, "It's brought down empires; imagine what it can do to a group of friends". Written by Gorman Bechard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Most friendships are complicated. Some are more complicated than others.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

5 July 2010 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Gorman Bechard wrote the first draft of the "Friends (with benefits)" script in 1999, he titled it "Fuck Buddies", but soon found that attracting a talented cast to a film of that name became rather difficult, thus forcing the name change. Though on his personal computer, anything related to the film is still kept in a folder named "Fuck Buddies". See more »

Quotes

Brad: You wouldn't have these problems if you would just follow my rules: 100. Friends don't let friends fuck ugly people 99. Try everything twice, the first time you might have been doing it wrong 98. Fat girls give the best head because they're always hungry 97. Cologne: overrated... Deodorant: a must 96. Blondes are usually too dumb to realize they're having more fun 95. After puberty, that's not "baby fat" 94. ATM = the Holy Grail 93. All hippie chicks deep throat, but few vegans swallow 92. ...
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User Reviews

 
It rocks!
16 June 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

After many years of wonderful but exceedingly depressing films (You Are Alone) and novels (Good Neighbors, Unwound, 9th Square), filmmaker Gorman Bechard returns to his comedy roots (Psychos in Love, and his wonderful first two novels, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told and Balls) with Friends With Benefits, a movie that is billed as a romantic comedy, but is so so so much more.

I was lucky enough to get a screener of this film to coincide with the world premiere at STIFF last week. Though I couldn't make it to Seattle, I nonetheless watched the movie on Friday evening, as if I were there.

You know it's a Bechard film right off the bat when some of the first words out of any character's mouth are "The Replacements, Husker Du, Archers of Loaf." That made me smile. It also assured me another rocking the free world soundtrack was approaching quickly. The StarSpangles kicked things off during the opening credits! Side note: the rights to the songs in this film would cost the average Hollywood studio a good quarter million dollars, and yet the budget here for the entire film was less than that. So it certainly says a lot about Bechard's film-making abilities that bands of this magnitude trust him with their music, and want to be a part of his films. That speaks volumes.

Friends is a simple enough story at heart. A boy and a girl, Owen and Chloe, friends since childhood, both now in med school, both too busy for romance, decide to become friends with benefits, and have no strings attached sex, to at least lessen their burden of horniness. Of course, they've been secretly in love with each other forever, and thus the problems begin.

And though they certainly do have their issues, it's nothing compared to their four friends, who at first warn them of the dangers of sleeping with your friends, until of course the temptation becomes unbearable.

I won't reveal what happened next, but will say that about the half-way point I thought, oh, no, I can't believe Bechard is going there. Such a cliché. Well, he did...but then within second, he went one step farther, the cliché was slaughtered, and all was well with the world. Friends With Benefits crosses the line, wonderfully and comically. I won't say which line, but trust me; you'll know it when you get to it.

I was trying to think of a good comparison to other movies, and I would have to say it contains the best raunchy humor of a Judd Aptow film combined with the sweetness of the best romantic comedies like The Wedding Singer, or The Sure Thing. It's a marvelous story (with amazing music) about love and lust and longing and sexual identity, and it so rings true to life because damn if me and everyone I know didn't experiment a little in college. It IS true to life. The acting is great. The cast is adorable. I want to go for a drink with Alison. I want to do dirty things to Owen. I don't know if the band in the film really play together, but they sure seem as if they do. The editing by Bechard and Ashley McGarry, also his writing and producing partner on the project, is fast and furious. Amazing use of split screens!!! The script is crisp, with dialog that real people would actually speak. The movie looks amazing.

OK, if I were to nitpick, the first 10 minutes are a little slow. But then, the first 10 minutes of most indie films are slow. Hell, most indie films are slow, period. And I'm not in love with one of the small supporting roles, but we're talking a few lines of dialog. It's not horrible, just not as great as the leads. Okay, I really thought Jessica Bohl in You Are Alone was the greatest unknown casting find of all time, but Bechard and McGarry somehow managed to find a half dozen unknowns as talented as Bohl. Don't know how, just hope it continues.

But really, once you get to Owen on his knees -- oh, damn, the dirty thoughts again -- suggesting that he and Chloe add some benefits to their friendship, well, the movie soars, it flies, and before you know it you're wiping a few tears from your eyes right before the end credits roll, then laughing again when an early joke finally receives its punch line AFTER the end credits.

Yes, I am a fan of Gorman Bechard. And though he really only seems to have a cult following, those that get his work truly "get it". The reviews of Alone or Psychos here on IMDb, or the reviews of his novels on Amazon prove that. One day the world will know what us few already do, Bechard knows how to tell a story, how to make you think, care, laugh, cry, how to turn you on. He's the best kept secret in the entertainment world. Friends With Benefits is just another great example of that. To paraphrase Chloe, it rocked!


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