Friends with Benefits, Justin Timberlake

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani from London >

Directed by Will Gluck. Starring Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman.

Another film about ‘no strings attached’ sex between friends. You’d think it would be the same old rom-com clichés but thankfully Friends With Benefits turns out to be energetic, fun, clever, romantic and sassy. Definitely the best rom-com this year.

Bubbly New York recruitment agent Jamie (Kunis) hunts down LA art director Dylan (Timberlake) to head GQ (brand promotion, a lot in the movie including tons of Sony products) and in the process she becomes his lovely NY guide and quirky best friend. Until of course a bit of attraction and lots of horny feelings drive them to play a friendly game of ‘tennis’, a euphemism for casual sex.

Now of course there are feelings involved and typical male-female reactions. But unlike this year’s boring No Strings Attached (Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher), Friends With Benefits sizzles with chemistry, witty repartee and interesting characters.

Kunis (That 70s Show and Black Swan) is cute and sexy, giving us the woman of the world façade laced with a girl secretly longing for love wonderfully. Timberlake has proven with films like The Social Network that he really is more than just a singer. In fact, he’s probably a better actor.

The scenes where the two are making out are so fun to watch, both of them giving each other directions, being sarcastic and generally having a good time. Their witty banter flies across the screen – zing, zing. A brilliantly written script, crisp editing and general likeability of the characters make this fast paced film immensely gratifying to watch.

Just a gripe: All the Sony branding (Screen Gems is a Sony Entertainment Pictures co.) gets a bit irritating. But funnily enogh, they have some Apple products in there too, and a bit of a stab at the iPad 2 (Sony is launching their own tablet soon!).

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