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Friends with Benefits

By Bob on June 7, 2012 6:12 AM

Friends with Benefits is the latest entry in the new breed of rom-coms - romantic, funny and raunchy (in a romantic and funny way). Here at Boomer Brief HQ, it's achieved a rarefied status reserved for only a handful of films: edgy enough for me / sweet enough for Charlotte. We both loved it.

The romantic premise is simple and oh-so-guy-friendly. Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) are platonic friends who decide to have a no-strings-attached physical-only relationship (see the guy-friendly part?). To prove their hipness, the pair pledge their (un)attachment for each other by placing their hands on an iPad Bible App (it's a lot funnier on screen, trust me) and swearing an oath.

 

It's a match made in dysfunctional heaven. Both Dylan and Jamie are relationship rejects who have been dumped by their boyfriend/girlfriend (terrific scene-stealing work by Andy Samberg and Emma Stone) because they're "emotionally unavailable".

 

At the beginning, the defective duo work great. The no-holds-barred, sex-only relationship (only brief nudity) is just the tonic they've needed, but soon life gets in the way. Job complications and in-law interference collide to make the simple act of hooking up a lot messier.      

 

There's no denying this relationship business is funny stuff - played to maximum effect thanks to a sharp direction by Will Gluck and a fast-paced, witty script. Sure this is a comedy, but Dylan and Jamie are fully drawn characters and Kunis and Timberlake show them warts and all (he wears socks to bed and sneezes as he orgasms; she's a screamer).  

 

As with all good things, this too must come to an end. The ties that unbind the couple get a little looser than they like. And just when it looks like these two crazy kids will go their separate ways...ah, who am I kidding? You know how this winds up (not a spoiler - watch the trailer).The Hollywood ending doesn't really matter, because it's so much fun to watch them get there.

 

Friends with Benefits is an adult comedy with a sharp edge and underlying sweetness. Sure, it's got a bite, but with this many laughs you'll hardly notice.

 

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