Starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, Friends with Benefits is a not your typical rom-com; it’s refreshing, clever, funny and even manages to poke fun at the genre – and itself – along the way.
Jamie (Kunis) is a New York headhunter, charged with the task of bringing Los Angeles-based Dylan (Timberlake) to New York to work for GQ.
When he takes the job, the two become friends – which quickly moves onto something more. However, with Jamie’s emotionally damaged past and Dylan’s history of being ‘emotionally unavailable’, the two have to struggle to keep it just friends with benefits.
Unfortunately, the film hit cinemas after the release of similarly-themed No Strings Attached, which will inevitably lead to comparisons between the two; however, Friends with Benefits is much, much better.
Timberlake and Kunis shine as characters; they’re funny, likeable and have great on-screen chemistry; unsurprisingly leading to rumours that the two became a couple after the film was released.
They were both due more light-hearted roles after their appearances in Black Swan and The Social Network respectively, and this is the perfect follow-up film for them.
Kunis is genuinely funny and very likeable in the role, while Timberlake’s character is refreshingly complex, with a somewhat surprising back story revealed as the film progresses.
Woody Harrellson does, however, steal the show, playing openly-gay sports writer, Tommy, who has a lot of the film’s best comedic lines and quips.
Friends with Benefits is a playful homage to many a great rom-com and, while the main characters openly fight against all the clichés you’d expect from a typical Hollywood romance, they do – spoiler alert! – end up conforming to the stereotype.
That’s not a bad thing though; as a viewer you expect it from the outset and you’d be disappointed if the ending was any different.