July 30, 2012

Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits was a 2011 romantic comedy movie starring Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman, and Richard Jenkins with the appearances of Emma Stone, Andy Samberg and Bryan Greenberg. It was directed by Will Gluck, who also co-wrote the screenplay with three other people. The movie was well-received, and became a box-office hit earning almost 150 million.

I had 5 reasons to watch this movie: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, and Bryan Greenberg. I've seen the works of these 5, and although I liked JT as an artist, his performance Social Network really impressed me. Mila Kunis gained widespread recognition for her role in Black Swan, or at least that's when I frist heard her name, and when I saw her I realized how charismatic she is. That charisma made me want to watch her other movies, icluding this one. Jenna Elfman was part of one of my favorite movies, Keeping the Fait. It was nice to see how she's transformed nearly 10 years after the release of Keeping the Faith. Woody Harrelson made me a fan in Zombieland and The Hunger Games and I don't think I need to explain why he's awesome. As for Bryan Greenberg, I've also seen some of his work, both in film and television. I would have included Emma Stone in te list, but I didn't know she was part of the cast. 

This was one of the few romantic comedies that actually had a lot of comedy. Usually rom-coms would be funny the first 15 minutes then become overtly dramatic/romantic from that point forward. At least this one waited til the last 20 minutes to become all cheesy. But Mila Kunis had that brand of cheese I'd take any day so I was good with it. Patricia Clarkson and Woody Harrelson made up most of the funny skits with their wit and undying humor. It was actually very impressive. Woody Harrelson was the best part of the film, and I'd be ready to defend this stand against anyone who could think otherwise. He was just freakin' hilarious. He really put himself in character and delivered one of his finest performances. Well, probably not the best, but it was still pretty funny.

This movie had one point of marketing: sex. It's not a bad thing especially since they delivered on their promise to explore the sexual tensions between two friends. It also managed to show the complications that could go along with it. Sure they made it in to a sweet love story, but we all know that it doesn't always end that way. That being said, the movie still did well in portraying the kind of scenario their target market would enjoy. It was sweet but it was also sensible and rational. It was sexy and raunchy, but it was also smart at the same time. It was an enjoyable movie, basically.

While the story was one big cliche, having probably the most used generic plot in the entire industry, the movie found its way to distinguish itself from other movies belonging to its genre. Charsima was the biggest factor of the movie in my opinion. With talented and charming people playing the characters, who could ever resist such a movie? I actually thought the movie was pretty good. 

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