Director: Will Gluck
Stars: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kurnis
Year Released: 2011
Basically it's about these two persons met at a single occasion and became friends. Then one night, they decided to be sex-buddies, exactly like that other movie with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher which was released earlier this year. Then like many other things in life, the non-relationship became more complicated and they fell in love with each other, well sort of anyway.
It's quite brave to release two movies with a same idea, but Hollywood has done it before (remember Dante's Peak and Volcano? Deep Impact and Armageddon?). And you can imagine how skeptical I was when I was about to watch this movie after a big disappointment from the other version (you know, the one with Portman and Kutcher).
But I was wrong. Friends with Benefits is funny, charming and much better than the other version (again, you know which). Although it's trying so hard to differ itself from many other rom-coms, it actually works as one, maybe this is the 21st century rom-com. Will Gluck only directed a very few movies and I must admit I've been his fan for the last two movies he made, this one and Easy A.
Kurnis and Timberlakes work really well. I can see/smell/feel the chemistry. Subjectively I never like Justin Timberlake. I still believe that he was the weakest link in that David Fincher's The Social Network, but I must admit, that dude is a pretty good actor. And Mila, sweet lips Mila, oh girl, you made the right choice. I'm so glad you didn't go with that lame PG-13 version with Ashton. Natalie might have her Oscar, but Mila honey you have a much better follow-up. HAHAHA.
The other supporting casts are not disappointed. Woody Harrelson is always a good comedic actor, Jenna Elfman, even a very tiny role of Emma Stone colors the movie. Probably the only disappointment would be Patricia Clark. In my mind, Patricia is always this elegant lady, even she plays a house wife (Easy A!), but as a bohemian mom, she kind of misses it.
And oh boy, did I mention that Friends with Benefits has many of the best pop songs as its soundtrack? Let me start with that Boys Don't Cry from the Cure (the movie version was rerecorded by Grant Lee Phillips, still a good song), Semisonic's Closing Time, Rogue Wave and many others.
Last reason why it's good: it was shot in New York. Period.