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Friends With Benefits (Movie Poster) Pictures, Images and Photos

Can a ‘Friends with Benefits’ relationship work?

That’s the question that co-stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis ask and test out in their new romantic comedy, which hit the silver screen this weekend.


New York headhunter Jamie (Mila Kunis) and Los Angeles dot-com phenomenon Dylan (Justin Timberlake) both have their issues when it comes to relationships: He’s too absorbed with his thriving career and she’s simply too flawed to percolate.

Abandoned early on by their exes, played by Andy Samberg and Emma Stone, they soon meet each other when she helps him land a job working for GQ.

Convincing him to actually take the fancy position proves to be a bigger task, but after an impromptu trip that sees them winding up in the middle of a flash mob, Dylan finally agrees.

Upon making the move to New York, the media savvy stud and his cute proponent form a fast friendship and still reeling from breakups, neither of them are ready to reenter the complicated dating world. But, they still need a partner for sexual reasons.

Yes, the concept is nearly identical to last year’s ‘No Strings Attached’, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, but somehow here, the concept actually seems more plausible, because of a better supporting cast and a superior level of chemistry and backstories from the leads.

He is emotionally unavailable, still struggling to understand his mother ditching his now Alzheimer's-rattled father (played spot on by Richard Jenkins), and she is an emotionally damaged girl with mommy issues that make her a hard sale.

However, unlike other romantic comedies, the film’s saving grace is often its decision to make fun of the core of its existence.

For instance, Jamie and Dylan watch a fake film, starring Jason Segel and Rashida Jones, and discuss how music and other effects are used to manipulate the audience and conceal how bad the movies truly are.

Maybe, they do go too far and highlight a couple of trends that appear as the movie progresses, but for the most part, the two leads and their naked forms, command your full attention.


The more-experienced Mila Kunis, who showed the versatility of her skills with ‘Black Swan’, shines beside all of her counterparts, and adequately uses her big doe eyes to tackle some of the film’s more dramatic moments with a light and intriguing wit.

Even Timberlake, who has often been criticized, steps forth as an effective leading man. He is good-looking, charming and above all, he is believable as Dylan.

Rounding out the strong supporting cast is: Woody Harrelson as a gay sports editor, Patricia Clarkson as Jamie’s booze-craze mother and Jenna Elfman as Dylan’s outspoken sister Annie, as well as, the previously mentioned Richard Jenkins.


Romantic comedies always boast a bevy of predictable storylines and clichés, but ‘Friends with Benefits’ tries its hardest to avoid becoming a victim, and in the process, arises as the best romantic comedy to grace the big screen in a quite while.

3½ OUT OF 5

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