Friends With Benefits [2011]

A pleasant surprise. Friends with Benefits is not deep, insightful, complex or intense. It’s simply entertaining, like a fresh, delightfully self-referential romantic comedy starring two impossibly attractive people should be. The quick banter between Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis carries the film; it’s irresistible. Seriously, it’s amazingly agile, just like a game of tennis (using the annoying metaphor from the movie). The supporting and bit players are almost as fun. There’s a subplot regarding Dylan’s (Justin Timberlake) Alzheimer’s-stricken father (a wonderful Richard Jenkins) that seems deliberately thrown in there to up the drama a little bit, although that doesn’t make it less affecting. All in all, Will Gluck’s latest is superior to the similarly themed, early-2011 release No Strings Attached.

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