Movie Review #358: Friends with Benefits

Begins on a high note then gradually stumbles to the bottom

Romantic comedies these days follow a similar trajectory: it gets good to bad to worse. Is it forgivable? Due to its formulaic plot, maybe, but it needs to have a couple with good chemistry and enough allure to keep you invested into watching their relationship unfold. For the most part, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis achieved this. But the ending simply left a sour taste in my mouth that made me forget how much fun I had watching the early stages of their romance.

Anyone expecting soft porn and full frontal showing will be disappointed. It’s no doubt the selling point of the film, although the movie seems eager to hide the ‘essential’ parts during sex scenes, despite the R-rating. This is not what you’re getting, so don’t expect it and find some other things to enjoy.

The Timberlake-Kunis tandem is entertaining. They’re both decent actors who occasionally can pull off good performances. They may not have been at their best in this one but they succeeded in squeezing out the wit and humor from the script. They even tried to save the film at the end, but unfortunately to no avail. I don’t want to spoil much, but let’s just say some realizations should’ve been made by a character way earlier. The result of what happened rendered the conclusion less believable and ineffective, at least for me. If you offset the good and bad things found in the film, it boils down to just another average rom-com that can be as easily picked up as it is left untouched.

GRADE: C+

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