Friends With Benefits

 The movie begins with Emma Stone (The Help, Easy A) which for me gave it points; I wasn’t expecting to see her. Then Timberlake’s character started talking about how he liked his “button” massaged, very strange but original I guess? Kunis screams “shut up Katherine Heigl” as she walks by one of her movie posters (I do the same thing) and that was funny. Then the opening credits appear and Friends With Benefits quickly becomes one of those New York films that work so hard to make it look better than it is. Of course this movie already came out in February it was just called No Strings Attached and starred Kunis Oscar winning co-star Natalie Portman. No matter how raunchier this film or the slight deviations, it’s still like a sequel/remake with different people playing the parts.

 Jamie (Kunis) has just broken up with her boyfriend, one of many that have caused her to label herself “damaged”. Jamie places really successful people in even more successful jobs and her latest endeavor is a popular blogger named Dylan (Timberlake) from Los Angeles. He is new to the city and Jamie becomes his hang out buddy. They are both single, horny, and decide to start having sex, only after swearing on the Bible not to turn it into anything more. They get attached, try to see other people, try to stop having sex, but all they think about is each other.

 This is the type of movie that begs me to take a rubber mallet and bash myself in the head with it until the rubber is dented. There is a scene early in the film where Jamie and Dylan are watching a romantic comedy (a fake one filmed just for this movie) and they point out how stupid so many things are, including the “pop song at the end to reassure you had a good time”. Everything they bash about that film obviously ends up coming true in this film. Funny how all the sex in this movie bothered me much more than what I saw in Shame. Friends with Benefits tries so hard to out-do the hard R rating of No Strings Attached with this sort-of funny vulgarity.

 Just when I was about to slap this movie with an F grade, Oscar nominated actress Patricia Clarkson (Cairo Time, Pieces of April) walks in, literally out of the blue playing this slutty, hippy mother and her fast talking is hilarious. Then of course I remember she played the same character in Easy A. It was nice to see Jenna Elfman again, but poor Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) needs a new agent, what a waste of good talent. I hate films that try to further degrade sex than our culture already has. Friends with Benefits is the fictional version of Shame which could serve as a wakeup call for all the morons who buy into this kind of garbage. Timberlake continues to be one of the most annoying people in film and I really hope Kunis distances herself from this type of mainstream garbage in the future. Woody Harrelson is the only thing that saved this from the F grade by the way.

 Final Thought – Morally degrading, a filthier remake of No Strings Attached.

Grade D-

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Michael Woody