Friends with Benefits (2011) Poster

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7/10
"Friends with Benefits"
jonathanruano7 April 2012
"Friends with Benefits" has a predictable and unoriginal rom-com storyline and its ending is pretty lame. Yet this movie coasts on the charisma of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis and a lot of sharp and witty dialogue. As long as these two actors are talking to each other or having sex, there is hardly ever a dull moment. And the reason for this seems to be simple enough. In most rom-coms, the actors play pretty dim-witted, boring and superficial people and therefore there is no reason to take interest in anything they may say or do. In this rom-com, "Friends with Benefits," Timberlake and Kunis play fresh, independent and smart people and for this reason we are interested in the lives they lead and what they say to each other. So "Friends with Benefits" does not have much of a plot, but that does seem to matter because on this rare occasion we are happily distracted by the magnetism of two capable on screen actors who are playing two well-craft parts.
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8/10
"Magic carpet ride"
UniqueParticle19 September 2019
I want this New York and LA life, I'm tired of North Carolina! Strange concept that seems to work or at least it seems that way. I absolutely love the soundtrack, it makes for such a feel good movie! Friends with Benefits is really funny and has a bunch of really good points throughout! Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are a blast as close friends.
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7/10
Cliché, predictable, but so honest and funny!
liso196622 November 2011
This movie was all things cliché and predictable. Even though you know what is coming, the honesty with life's little quirks and human behavior was incredibly well done.

Timberlake is an okay actor. I found him to be a fresh breath in this movie. The dialogue and scenario fit his charm quite well.

I found Mila Kunis to be quite funny, and she pulled off that cute, charming, awkwardly damaged woman, perfectly. She was chic, yet easy to relate too. Down to earth, but an air of success and confidence, hidden in all the girly dreams and fairy-tales.

If you want something original and never done before, this is the wrong movie to watch. If you wish to appreciate a good spin on an old concept with stellar humor and humanity, it is worth the watch..
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6/10
A sweet satire that's almost good (but not quite)
Samiam322 July 2011
What I can say for Friends with Benefits is that it's a cute movie that doesn't reach it's full potential. The main problem to me is that when it starts, the film is being played as satire and when it ends, it's being played straight. As a result, Friends with Benefits does not quite rise above the romantic material it mocks, but on occasion it's funny and adorable.

Actually for a while, the movie is on fire. The opening is cleverly handled, and is a good way to grab the audiences attention. Then for the next several scenes, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake demonstrate charm, comfort and overall competence and end up delivering a couple of the funniest sexual encounters I've seen in years. What I like about them both is that they bring enthusiasm to whatever they do, and this film is no exception.

Around the halfway point, the film starts to feel a little boring. with a running time of just over a hundred minutes, Friends with Benefits is not a long movie, and while it's not exactly short either, it feels shorter than it should be. There are a few hints to suggest that a longer movie was intended but the Studio may have forced a cut down. In addition to an ending that feels rushed, all the supporting characters in the story seem futile, and underwritten. Woody Harrelsson, for example, can be a really funny guy, but he's not given the material or the screen time, to make his appearance worthwhile.

The film has it's ups, it has it's downs. It doesn't end up being a bad Rom-com, but I've seen better.
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A Nutshell Review: Friends with Benefits
DICK STEEL1 October 2011
2011 will probably go down as the year Hollywood tells us having F* buddies is OK and encouraged, with no less than three films this year set around the premise of pure sex without strings or emotions attached, with Love and Other Drugs and No Strings Attached setting the precedence earlier with an incredibly good looking cast in all sorts of undress - Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher - and added to the list will be current IT guy and girl Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis rolling beneath the sheets in a typical love story between the emotionally unavailable and the emotionally damaged.

Mila Kunis stars as Jamie, a headhunter in New York who persuades her target Dylan played by Justin Timberlake to ditch his young, upstart blogging team to join GQ (how's that for a little bit of subtle advertising) in revamping its website and to infuse new content ideas. A night out prior to the offer seals the LA based Dylan to relocate and take up the offer, with plenty of activities thrown in that if it's not Jamie being his only friend in a new, big city, they would serve as activities that would fit in for an awesome date night out. Before long they become firm friends, and made a pact to keep things physical since they each have their wants, and with the other party game to get down and dirty, so begins their game of tennis (though personally I prefer analogy with, and the term "bedminton" - it involves cocks after all). After all, why complicate what would be a beautiful friendship, if sex can be treated just as sex without the emotions thrown in to mess things up?

You know the clichéd drill by now, with things moving along fine and dandy, the hint of emotions coming into play to really turn things upside down, the narrative montage to show how frequent they mate like jackrabbits, before some large, needy episode or statements uttered that will probably reveal the true state of affairs, and the list goes on. Deny all you want, but one cannot help but to agree that the fairer sex will have things rough if pacts of this nature turn sour, and expectedly in a movie they always do, otherwise everyone will be happy without adversary, frustration and challenges to overcome and provide that change in strength of character.

And it is this power of the cliché that absolutely calls the shots in films like these. You know what will happen, but want to see them happen anyway even though you're multiple steps ahead of every character. And it is precisely these expectations that anyone would want to see covered, and try as the filmmakers want it is the clichés that they find hard to break away from, even if characters here proclaim very early on that romance in their world shouldn't be like an unbelievable Hollywood film, but in what would be art imitating art, look who's talking to begin with. And what's with the fixation about consistently taking the shine off the captain of US Airways Flight 1549 in its emergency landing onto the Hudson River?

Justin Timberlake is fast becoming the busy bona fide movie star since The Social Network, and continues his run with this film and In Time which will hit the screens here soon. He has that boyish charm that the camera just loves, and being a real life singer meant covering a number of songs here, from Stereophonics to Kris Kross made it look all too easy. Mila Kunis plays her role as the emotionally damaged girl with aplomb, and shares an effective chemistry with Timberlake that makes this film a delight to sit through, even if as mentioned the story's cliché and we know just about how these two nice looking people will likely get together.

The supporting characters while one dimensional almost always threaten to steal the show, from Patricia Clarkson as Jamie's sex crazed mom extending the lifespan of a running joke involving the nationality of Jamie's unseen dad, Woody Harrelson as the gay colleague of Dylan who always have innuendos offhand to share, Jenna Elfman who plays Dylan's sister and Richard Jenkins starring as Dylan's dad who's suffering from advancing Alzheimer's disease, which is especially poignant as it deals with the subplot of how a family copes with a loved one who's behaviour develops erratically, and holding the key to a pivotal personal experience to share and turn things around.

With Andy Samberg and Emma Stone making cameos (the latter being extremely crazy as a fanatical John Meyer fan), Friends With Benefits has its main leads to thank for in milking quite the cliché story for the masses, who are likely to make a beeline just to see those two in some down and dirty action, not that you get to see a lot to begin with anyway. Recommended, and stay tuned until after the end credits roll for more commentary when the two are sitting at a couch watching the outtakes of a DVD movie.
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8/10
Good chemistry for sure
itchywow26 July 2011
I was expecting to have to compare this movie with No Strings Attached (or whatever that movie with Ashton Kutcher was) all the way through however I was pleasantly surprised that the story was a bit more complex despite the obvious parallels.

Yes it's the typical "boy and girl decide to be friends only but end up loving each other" movie .... but I must admit that it was a lot smarter in the delivery. Timberlake and Kunis have a lot of chemistry on camera ... It's shot primarily in new york so expect the clichéd new york locations ...

The complexity of Timberlake's character is slowly revealed through the show as opposed to being revealed in the first 3 minutes like most other movies.

A good watch ... not slap your knee funny but certainly entertaining to the end ... clichés and all
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7/10
A raunchy sex comedy that starts off sweet but becomes sour all too quickly
DonFishies5 July 2011
I was unsure what to expect going into Friends with Benefits at an advanced screening a few weeks ago. It always seemed a bit too close in plot to No Strings Attached (made extra odd as the female leads Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman had literally just starred together in Black Swan), a film that came out less than six months ago, and while the trailers looked amusing, they seemed to look a little too close to an atypical romantic comedy. But the film actually ended up surprising me. Well, the first half at least.

Jamie (Kunis) is a headhunter in New York City who helps aspiring graphic design artist Dylan (Justin Timberlake) land a prestigious job at GQ. They become good friends, and after a discussion about their relationship failures, decide to start having sex without the relationship schmaltz (hence the titular phrase). But the good times cannot stay uncomplicated for long.

Rather surprisingly, the first half of Friends with Benefits is a ridiculously raunchy sex comedy that is sweeter than it is crude. The dialogue and one-liners drop at a steady pace, and there is plenty of laugh out loud moments. I was genuinely surprised at just how much I was enjoying the film, and how well co-writer/director Will Gluck (who knocked Easy A out of the park last year) helped capture the tropes and stereotypes of romantic comedies, and went entirely against them. The scene that starts the initial sexual antics is a complete dissection of the genre, and seeing the film twist and turn around the familiar plot devices was wonderful to see. It made the film feel hilarious, but also made it feel like it was attempting to do something different at the same time. Adding in a couple of random cameos from notable actors was a bit wacky (which the trailers have ruined slightly), but helped add to the humour.

Except the film comes to a screeching halt just about halfway in when Jamie and Dylan come to the all too obvious realization that they may want something more. The film then becomes drastically more dramatic, a lot less sweet, and significantly more ordinary. Even the laughs suffer, landing less with a snicker and more with a groan. Everything it does to shift itself away from the romantic comedy genre feels wasted because it falls into all of the stereotypes quicker than it poked fun at them. It almost feels like they wanted to desperately feel different, and then decided to just go the safer route as opposed to sticking with its offbeat early tactics. I was really enjoying the film significantly more than I imagined, but suddenly felt bored and totally thrown off by the drastic tonal shift.

While sketch comedy has proved to be one of his strong suits, Timberlake seems to have a lot of trouble carrying the film. We know he has the chops to command the screen and be absolutely magnetic (we have David Fincher and The Social Network to thank for that), but here he seems to be struggling with every other scene. He lands most of his jokes well, does decently with the dramatic bits and has plenty of chemistry with Kunis, but he lacks the spark I think most people will expect him to have in this role. He comes off as just okay, and more amateur than anything else. He would have been better suited in the film as a key supporting player, as opposed to the lead.

Kunis on the other hand, is significantly stronger and proves that her turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall may have been an early suggestion of the formidable comedic talent she may quickly become. Gluck is not able to achieve the same level of breakthrough that he got from Emma Stone in Easy A from Kunis, but she manages to carry the film almost single handedly. Even at the script's weakest moments, she grins and pushes forward, never once appearing to be struggling as much as Timberlake does. I think my only complaint against her is that she spends a good portion of the film completely nude, yet ends up wearing all too obvious pasties under a white shirt in one scene. It seems more like a complaint against a horrendously bad editing and lighting decision than against her, but it was a scene that made her seemingly-realistic character feel a whole lot less believable.

Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins both deliver good performances, but sadly feel like they are just plagiarizing from characters they have played better in the past. Jenna Elfman (who I did not realize was still acting) does a little better in a warm and significantly low-key role as Dylan's sister Annie. But it is Woody Harrelson who steals the entire show as gay sports writer Tommy. He plays the character ridiculously over-the-top, but never feels like he is encroaching on any stereotypes. He makes it his own, and is almost too good in the role. He gets all of the film's best dialogue quips, and runs circles around everyone on screen. In more than one instance, Timberlake looks legitimately shocked at some of the things Harrelson says and gets away with. I think the film could have only benefited from including more of him.

In the end, Friends with Benefits is both surprisingly well done and unsurprisingly ordinary. It tries so hard initially to be the anti- romantic comedy, and then just ends up falling into the same predictable elements that every other film in the genre has already done countless times before. The film is genuinely hilarious when it wants to be however, and this does save it from being a total waste. But it could have been so much more.

7/10.
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8/10
A Cliché Romantic Comedy that Pokes Fun at Other Romantic Comedies
threephil30 June 2011
I was able to see a sneak screening of this movie almost 1 month prior to it's official release. I honestly walked in simply thinking I was seeing another typical romantic comedy with my girlfriend. To my surprise it was much more.

Timberlake plays an LA Blog Art Director who has just been recruited to work for GQ in New York by Kunis who is a headhunter. The two had great chemistry through out the movie.

What's funny is that even though it does contain the usual Cliché scenes that most romantic adult comedies contain, it does tend to poke fun at them and have some sort of realism to the plot.

Both Timberlake and Kunis are likable and really funny. Woody Harrelson was the best addition to support this younger cast. Harrelson plays a flamboyantly gay sports editor who goes from making sexual advances to JT, to offering him some pearls of wisdom with his love life.

I would have to say this movie was very enjoyable and if your skeptical about seeing it in the theaters, definitely put it on your "must rent" list.
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7/10
Surprisingly Enjoyable with Great Chemistry Between its Leads,
lesleyharris3031 October 2014
Friends with Benefits is a good movie with a pretty well developed storyline and a fantastic comedic cast.I thought this would be exactly like No Strings Attached,and I really hated that movie so I wasn't going to bother watching this,but my friends told me it was much different and better,and while I didn't believe them I gave this a chance and I'm happy I did,it is much better and it isn't similar at all to No Strings Attached other than the set up of two friends having casual relations.I cared about these characters a lot and wanted them to get together,there was really great chemistry between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake,and there are also hilarious cameos from great comedy actors such as Woody Harrelson,Andy Samberg.Emma Stone,Rashida Jones,Jason Segel,among others.My favourite part of the movie was Richard Jenkins,he delivered a great performance and the emotional addition of him struggling with Alzheimer's was a good idea and very sweet,I cared about him more than anyone else.It isn't anything outstanding,but it's funny and certainly a better than usual romantic comedy that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good one.

Two friends who despise romance decide to add a bit of love making to their friendship without any complications.

Best Performance: Richard Jenkins Worst Performance: Patricia Clarkson
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7/10
Formulaic plot, average dialogue, but still watchable
burgerman935 April 2021
I thought the movie would have more laughs and I felt the storyline itself wasn't intriguing. The jokes were repetitive and the movie transitioned awkwardly. I'm giving it an above average rating since Kunis and Timberlake are naturally talented, and did have good chemistry. Also, the scenes of New York and LA were visually stunning. I found myself spacing out during some of the dragged out dinner table scenes or other scenes that didn't add much value to the plot. Would I recommend it? Probably not. But it wasn't a waste of time and the ending sort of summed up things fairly well.
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A movie without benefits
SteveMierzejewski7 September 2011
Don't waste your time on this one. A weak, predictable plot highly dependent on simulated sex scenes between the two main characters to maintain viewer interest. Of course, if you're into that kind of thing, you'd probably think this was the movie of the year. If you're looking for some depth or acting quality, you've come to the wrong film.

And what's with Justin Timberlake? Is he gay or putting a little too much glitter on his speech to give it a gay twist? I'm not trying to be funny here because one of the running gags is that people keep asking him if he is gay. I suppose this is supposed to have us all convulsed with laughter, otherwise I don't have any idea why they are beating us to death with this angle. I suspect Mila Kunis did her best with the underdeveloped character she was given, and its the reason I rated the film so highly. Anyway, if you really want to explore the 'can men and women be friends' theme, watch the best in this genre, 'When Harry Met Sally'. At least you won't regret the time you spent watching it.
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2/10
Insulting romantic comedies, its fans, and everything else
napierslogs31 October 2011
The thing about 'Friends with Benefits" is that you have, in fact, seen it before. Not in the generic way the film implies that all romantic comedies are the same. But this exact movie was released earlier this year with the title "No Strings Attached". And what's worse is that vapid, uninspired, Hollywood-love-fest original is actually better.

Unashamedly, I admit that I like romantic comedies. I do get very upset when Hollywood makes stupid ones that I don't like it, but I still watch them. The problems here stem from the fact that "Friends with Benefits" is a romantic comedy but thinks that it isn't. One of the jokes that lasts the entire run-time of the movie is that romantic comedies suck and the people who watch them are fundamentally stupid. I don't like being insulted and I especially don't like being insulted by something that is trying to survive on put-downs and pretending to be better than the very genre they belong to.

There is a fake romantic comedy that plays during this movie, usually serving as fodder for insults, and allows the film to point out everything that is wrong with it. I don't think the filmmakers are so daft to not realize that they are doing the exact same things, but I do think they expected their audience to not pick up on it.

Recently Jason Segel has been doing the rounds promoting his new Muppets movie. One of the points he likes making is that the humour is pure and innocent; that the jokes don't insult or put-down anyone or anything. I like Segel as much as the next person, but it astounds me that he could be so hypocritical that just three months earlier he appeared in a movie where every joke insulted somebody or something.

And I do mean every joke. We start with John Mayer insults and the obligatory Katherine Heigl jokes, move on to standard romantic comedy insults, then come back with some out-of-place jokes making fun of the Hudson River-landing pilot, and on the way back to more romantic comedy insults, shoot off some remarks about Kriss Kross, '90s pop bands, and of course, homosexuals. And I likely forgot some.

Contrary to the current popular stance, I like Justin Timberlake. He has been in a lot of movies recently, and he's usually one of the best things in them. He also has no problem insulting himself. Surprisingly, the movie never took that path.

If for some reason, you're still watching, beware that "Friends with Benefits" probably has the highest product placement total in recent history. There's a reason Timberlake's character is a marketing exec at GQ – if they didn't make enough money at the box office, they would have off of their sponsors.

To be clear, "Friends with Benefits" is a romantic comedy. Girl is emotionally damaged, boy is emotionally unavailable. Girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, but let's see how long before they both give in. If you don't like romantic comedies, then you won't like this. If you do like romantic comedies, then the filmmakers think you have a worthless opinion and you won't like it anyways. It is odd how that works out.
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7/10
Leave it to Justin and Mila to make a better "No Strings Attached"
neji10716 June 2011
So is Friends With Benefits better than No Strings Attached? Yes. And if that's all you needed to settle a bet with your friend, you can go call him up now and plan a trip to the theater July 22 to find out why.

Justin Timberlake has proved once again that he can actually act... Pretty well, actually. And that automatically puts him lightyears ahead of Ashton Kutcher. Additionally, Justin and Mila have some excellent and convincing chemistry that really supports the film, along with a handful of jokes and hilarious cameos that make for some good laughs. But the story falls flat where it tries to parody the typical romance movie because ultimately, it adheres to the exact same chick-flick formula: Guy meets girl, they hit it off, complications arise, they fall apart, they resolve their issues, and voilà... happily ever after. And Mila's mother in the movie... where have we seen her character before? Oh that's right, literally copy+pasted from Easy A.

I suppose you probably wouldn't expect anything more out of this movie than the run-of-the-mill romance comedy, but it's a solid one at that and worth your while if you're interested!

7/10
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5/10
Friends with eventually regular Hollywood clichés
dsa_ca23 July 2011
There is a recurring adjective that is attached with Mila Kunis's character Jamie which is used by all her sex partners to their advantage i.e. she is emotionally damage. According to Justin Timberlake's character even Magnum P.I cannot solve the case of what's going through Jamie's head when she thinks relationships. What makes a person emotionally damaged is not really elaborated in the movie. She is raised by a single mother, but the quest to know who her father was, is more or less laughed off. While she breaks up with her relationship with Andy Sandberg, it seems she has enough admirers as Shaun White is shown as one of her secret admirer and she also has a passionate set of friends with whom she parties around. So what exactly is her state of being emotionally damaged related to? Or is it a statement that would help the director bring some complications with her friend that provides sexual benefits Justin Timberlake! That might be the case in this totally romantic comedy film.

The new romantic comedy 'Friends with benefits', which does not shy away from taking a shot at mocking at every romantic comedy clichés, more or less falls into trappings of the romantic genre from the beginning. Mila Kunis (Jamie), a corporate headhunter in New York, is just out of a relationship with SNL fame Andy Sandberg, while an upcoming blogger in Los Angeles, Justin Timberlake (Dylan) is also dealing with a break up with his girlfriend played by Emma Stone. When Jamie sets up an interview for Dylan at GQ magazine, he comes up in New York and meets Jamie for the first time at the airport. Right from the beginning Jamie performs all the cute stunts a romantic comedy female lead is expected to but also balances out by mocking Hollywood's take on romance and New York. Soon after Dylan moves into NY City to take up the job, Jamie gets him into her friends circle and they both start hanging out together watching Hollywood Romantic comedies and mocking it. But they both are missing sexual intimacy in their lives and since Jamie is emotionally damaged and Dylan claims to be emotionally unavailable they both decide to have just a sexual relationship without any emotions involved.

It's all fine and dandy till all the sex lasts for them and unfortunately for the audience as well. Once the sex dries up the movie just goes south and we are introduced to all the regular clichéd family characters. As Dylan takes Jamie to his home in Los Angeles for the 4th of July weekend, we are introduced to Dylan's good hearted elder sister Jenna Elfman (Annie) and her magic obsessed son Sam and more importantly Dylan's Alzheimer inflicted father Mr. Harper played earnestly by Richard Jenkins. The stories about Dylan's not so happy childhood is what eventually melts the heart of our emotionally damaged Jamie and they go on to have their first sexual encounter added with emotions. But these emotions are only noticed by the emotionally damaged girl, while emotionally unavailable boy clearly ignores and start off a chain reaction of complications in their friendship. So this is what is served as suspense romantic complications to our audience and since this is a pre-determined summer blockbuster the eye candy and emotionally hopeless couple have to get back together. How? Well with the usual Hollywood charm and pot full of cliché ridden sequences.

For a movie that mocked the romantic comedy genre at regular intervals during the first half of the movie, it was quiet an irony that it had to use more or less the clichés from that same genre to bring the movie around its eventual happy ending. And for all the dissing of Katherine Heigl by Mila Kunis, she is the new Ms. Heigl for romantic comedies. Easy on eyes with magnetic screen presence Ms. Kunis has the charm to breeze through the clichés of this particular genre of films. Justin Timberlake also provides an insight of what to expect in the future in his acting career as he also elegantly passes romantic comedy test.

As for the film, apart from the intimate relationship and scenes between Justin and Mila, it always seems to be hanging on extreme to carry some laughs. Woody Harrelson plays its Gay sports editor part with good amount of enthusiasm, but Patricia Clarkson as Mila's flirtatious sex obsessed mother just tries to be extreme and we should be thankful that few scenes from the promotional videos were edited out from the final reel. While there is another extreme moment between Justin and his wild date who tries to act as being wild in bed by licking and smelling Mr. Timberlake's armpit, which neither grosses out nor induces laughter but guarantees yawn from the audience.

To an audience who has seen it all in this year's romantic comedy hit 'No strings attached', which was also about friends 'hooking up' just for the pleasure of the whole act; Friends with benefit has nothing new or better to offer. It glides along on the charm of its two leads, but fails to hide its flaws as a good romantic comedy entertainer.

For more reviews visit http://cinemadose.blogspot.com/
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2/10
How to sell the same product again to the same person.
westsideschl5 January 2012
Yes, the movie made money. Yes, it was filmed in L.A. and N.Y. - where else, duh! Yes, the old salesmen trick of repackaging the same product to sell to the same schmuck by changing the packaging a little works as usual and always has and always will. So what do the cloistered writers, producers and directors in N.Y. & L.A. do with their lives well, sit in little pretend manly cubicles trying to tweak another dollar out of the rom-com boxed-in consumer. What is the formula that's tweaked? Middle class white professionals that cuss a lot to bluff toughness; sex dominates their discussions; monetary self interest dominates their social consciousness; parties, bars and objects- du-jour their support system. What's tweaked? Change an actor or two but not too many; change an office/occupation but not too many; change the social scenes but not too many. Everything else stays the same predictable self including the ending. Ah hah moment, the monetary comfort of predictability in exchange for the psychological comfort of predictable fantasy.
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6/10
Kind of charming
Calicodreamin16 April 2021
Kunis and Timberlake actually have good chemistry which gives this "anti" romcom a bit of charm. The storyline is basic and the premise a bit cliché. However, the characters are fun and the acting is decent. Keep expectations low and enjoy a few laughs.
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4/10
Overly cliché and laboured
p-stepien30 June 2012
After another failed relationship high-rolling blog entrepreneur Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) and head-hunter Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) decide to forfeit on love and commitments. Per chance Jamie headhunts the LA settled Dylan to become the chief editor of GQ monthly, the New York. On his arrival to the Big Apple the two hitch onto their instant connection, chatting through the days and wise-cracking on the same wave-length. Not wanting to dissolve the friendship, but at the same time in the midst of an ongoing sex-drought, the two decide to enter an understanding: Just sex. No strings attached. What happens from then on is... pretty anticipatable. At first things are perfectly fine, but then an epiphany or two changes the state of affairs into something less raunchy and more heartwarming.

Romantic comedies are essentially my guilty pleasure (psst... don't pass the word around), often intaking a few to lessen the intensity levels following more ambitious cinema. Despite being able to fill in the dots several scenes ahead, they do offer a certain respite and touch the less cynical side of a human being. However cliché and stereotypical the two leads or predictable the outcome, the key issue is proper chemistry and some honest laughs. Unfortunately "Friends with Benefits" offers two mildly intriguing characters with pet peeves and supposedly cute idiosyncrasies, who are provided with well-meant, but laboured, dialogue. They end up attempting to talk there way into the viewer's sympathy with mildly entertaining punchlines, forced deliveries reeking of pretentiousness or mistimed comedic flow. Even worse some of the ideas spun into the move are outdated (like the whole flash mob concept) and just don't help to build the character's credibility.

The best thing in the movie is Dylan's father (played by Richard Jenkins), an Alzheimer afflicted heart-warming character, which single-handedly manages to instill a sense of honesty to the end resolution, despite all the dismembered emotionality of preceding events. Unfortunately for the lead cast the show is basically stolen by supporting actors with Jamie Clarkson as Jamie's hippie sex crazed mom and Woody Harrelson as a gay sports editor stealing all of the thunder whenever on screen.
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5/10
Starts off alright but ends up being something that is not anything special
KineticSeoul6 January 2012
After watching the movie "No String Attached" I wondered what would be different about this movie since both movies share similar premise. The dialogue goes in a direction where it tries a bit too hard to be hip. The movie starts out alright but it goes in a really cliché direction after it makes fun to cliché romantic comedies. What it does is bash on the old romantic comedies that goes in a cliché direction but it copies all the recent romantic comedies. It seemed the two main characters tries to show off how laid back and cool they are, which gets sort of annoying after a while. There is just so many today's wannabe hip cliché stuff crammed into this and it just doesn't seem all that natural. The chemistry between Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis was not believable. I would have preferred Jessica Biel who didn't get the role because of Mila Kunis. Personally am not really a fan of Mila Kunis the chemistry just seemed weak. But tries to atone for it by putting a bunch of sex scenes in there. Personally I would have preferred Jessica Biel in those scenes.

5.5/10
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10/10
Have I really not seen this in 10 years?!
frederiktehvan25 January 2022
This might be the greatest feel good movie ever made. I haven't laughed this hard for years. It's just... cute. Mila and Justin just work together on screen. It's beautifully written and wonderfully acted. Guys and girls - don't ever stop believing in true love. Your prince/princess charming IS out there. Don't settle. There is someone out there who makes you laugh and who gets your jokes. It might not be Mila Kunis or Justin Timberlake but she/he is out there. I do hope you find the one. :)
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2/10
Lame.... Useless waste of time.
imbluzclooby9 July 2013
Watching movies about shallow premises coupled by lame dialogue and Narcissistic acting are enough to sour me early on. Why did I invest my time watching this pointless bilge. Apparently, the supposed "Most beautiful woman in the world', Mila Kunis is what kept me somewhat intrigued. close ups of her stunning face and dark beauty is what keeps me watching. Outside of the aesthetic quality of her appearance I had to constantly get up out of my couch to do something more useful like wash dishes or clip my fingernails.

This movie is lame and is just a feeble excuse to showcase the two leads and the materialistic world they live in. I don't know much about Justin Timberlake, because I never paid much attention to him outside of Hollywood tabloids forcing this drip into our living room. I also hate when they have to incorporate the obligatory Rap music into movies with White actors, as if they genuinely like this putrid form of noise.

It's annoying and makes young people look shallow, self-serving and apathetic.

If you want to look at Mila and her entrancing beauty, click on some thumbnails online. otherwise, save yourself 95 minutes.
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2/10
Avoid this film like the plague
Greatornot14 August 2011
I was actually embarrassed for the headline actors, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. The material was not good nor were the jokes. Justin Timberlake was bad enough to begin, as usual. Mila Kunis is normally better than this. I guess she was playing down to her material and co-star. Either way the acting was horrible as was the plot and the direction. A negative trifecta. If there were any redeeming factors to the film it was the supporting actors. All of which I felt did an excellent job with the material they had to work. Patricia Clarkson, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins and even Jenna Elfman, respectively. The film was predictable which is OK in this genre. Just a sloppy project in every facet. Save your time and bypass this one.
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8/10
Really Beneficial Movie to Watch
Joshsports609 July 2011
Friends With Benefits is exactly like No Strings Attached. Except it isn't. The plot is the same, but the movie dynamics are totally different.

FWB was one of the funniest romantic comedies in years. No formula, no b.s., just good comedy.There were a lot of satirical elements in the movie that were surprisingly witty.

I'm not sure Woody Harrelson's character was actually needed to progress the story,but I'd equate it to Melissa McCarthy's character in Bridesmaids. Just really, really funny every time he's on screen.

The chemistry between the two main characters was very real most of the time. Both Timberlake and Kunis played off each other fairly well. And the rated R is what the adult viewer really wants. And trust me, FWB delivers.

Another thing FWB had that No Strings Attached didn't was a lot of heart. Very real emotions were often displayed in the movie.

There were some great cameos in the movie, like Jason Segel, Andy Samberg, Emma Stone, and Shaun White playing Shaun White.

Good for Will Gluck for making a good follow-up movie to Easy A. I think he's really starting to find his niche in Hollywood.
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5/10
Tepid story.
PWNYCNY18 August 2011
It is a shame that such a wonderfully talented actress as Mila Kunis is so shabbily and tastelessly showcased in such a tepid and empty cinematic product. Hollywood can do better than that! And this is the case after her spectacular performance in The Black Swan. Showing Ms. Kunis prancing around in her undies is really sad. She is a wonderful actress and comedian, not a sex object. And the story itself is pure fluff meant to showcase the male lead, which is really ludicrous. How can Mila Kunis be so grievously miscast? Ms. Kunis is a powerful actress, who has a dominating screen presence, yet she plays second fiddle to the male lead who showcases his body. The story itself is sheer sentimentality covered by a veneer of trash-talking language meant to create an impression of being chic and cool, which is totally out of sinc with the characters themselves who are so shallow that their coolness is a sham. Toward the end of movie Ms. Kunis is finally allowed to display some of her dramatic skills, but it is too little too late as the the damage has been done and the movie comes to a quick and improbable end. The problem with showcasing a male lead in this movie is that the audience is asked to accept the premise that the male actor is more attractive than the female lead and therefore deserves more attention, but in this movie, that definitely does not work. Just like with Pretty Woman, this movie should have showcased the female lead and without making her act like a tramp. Mila Kunis is talented and beautiful; let her be the star.
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7/10
Benefits to be had if you spend time with these friends
slightlymad2212 August 2014
Following on from the almost identical "No Strings Attached" staring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman which grossed over $100 million, this movie replaces Kutcher and Portman with the impossibly gorgeous pairing of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis who make an engaging romantic couple.

Modern Family's Nolan Gould has a small role as Timberlake's nephew and Woody Harrelson simply steals the movie, he owns every scene he is in as a gay sports editor.

The writer and director set us up for what could have been a great moment-one which we expect to see, but it never takes place. Harrelson is constantly asking Timberlake to go out for drinks, so the can hit on men and women respectively. Timberlake always refuses, but half way through the movie he agrees. At this point we expect some funny scenes watching Harrelson on the prowl. When we don't see it, we miss it.

Friends With Benefits is not without it's clichés, but overall a pleasant way to spend some time.
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1/10
A film with nothing
dbrando29 July 2011
Friends with Benefits seems like it might be a satire of Nora Ehpron's feel good films,or Neil Simon's one dimensional types with just TV cracks as substitutes for any kind of genuine dialogue. Not the case here. This film makes Ephron's screenplays and directed films, along with N. Simon's stuff, look like classics. Friends with Benefits has no acting in it, except for Patricia Clarkson, and she is debased as one of those old women- mothers who swear and screw around with men etc.

There isn't one line that is funny,there is not a scene between Timberlake and Kunis that has any chemistry to it. He is always seen as potentially gay, and Woody Harrelson's gay character keeps us wondering, if anyone would care to wonder.

Timberlake plays it all as sort of gay and sort of straight, but comes up neuter. I think the reason why there are so many nude shots of him is because you never take his gender seriously, like one of the dwarfs in Snow White, you never fear for Snow White's sexual safety; the dwarfs have nothing that would cause fear. So it is with Timberlake. Even when there is sex between Kunis and Timberlake, it looks like wrestling at summer camp.

The Altzheimer scenes are appalling, along with the gay male model scenes that are deeply homophobic.

This film needed a script, director, producer, and stars, not non-actors, who stomp around the set with no sense of mimesis, mimicking at all.

Avoid this, and watch "The Nanny."
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