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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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Authentic Italian Pizza Margherita La Casa

By Craig Whitson and Tore Gjesteland, authors of Passion for Pizza
Pizza 600.jpgPhoto © Mats Widén, courtesy of Agate Publishing.

Bearing the colors of the Italian flag, Pizza Margherita is the world's most famous pizza. In June 1889, Raffaele Esposito from Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi served his version of the tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza to Queen Margherita. The queen had never eaten pizza before, but she so loved Esposito's pizza that she sent a letter telling him so. Esposito's pizzeria still exists but is now called Pizzeria di Brandi. The queen's letter still hangs on the restaurant's wall.

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Charlotte and I have been in love with LA (Lower Alabama) for more than a decade. The laid back lifestyle, sugar-white sandy beaches, golf courses, great food and (yes, shopping) have kept us entertained for weeks on end. 

Now there's another reason to visit: Beer.

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