When you hear there is a new movie out called Friends with Benefits and your first thought is “I wonder if they have Blue Cross Blue Shield?”, you can be certain that you are not the demographic for this film. The benefits being referred to have nothing to do with vacation days, although that would certainly be a good way to spend them. The audience for this film is the twenty-somethings, that generation of young people who live in a constant state of stimulation that requires hooking up and plugging in. And I’m not even talking about sex.
Friends with Benefits pairs Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as two insanely attractive people who cannot seem to make a relationship work because they are “emotionally damaged.” They decide that since they are friends but have no interest in dating, they will have sex with No Strings Attached, which is also how Natalie Portman furnished her nursery before her baby was born. And Justin Timberlake is no Ashton Kutcher. Thank God.
This is a romantic comedy that forges no new territory except for the fact that Kathyrn Heigl isn’t in it, but will still keep you pretty entertained. The rapid-pace banter between Justin and Mila is entertaining, and the two of them have a nice chemistry that has you rooting for the inevitable ending. Besides being in the corner of meaningless sex (which will OF COURSE lead to love, because how else could they justify all the meaningless sex to GIRLS watching unless they did?), this film celebrates Steve Jobs and his gazillion products named after a certain kind of fruit. The characters are constantly talking and texting on their iPhones and the iPad is featured prominently in a funny scene involving a Bible app. This film is so meta that the producers probably WANT you to illegally download it and watch it while you’re having sex with someone you don’t particularly like. And while all the hardware and finger swooping on touch pads certainly makes the film look very contemporary, I wonder if it will hold up even a few years from now when we’ll all have computer chips implanted behind our ears and are able to communicate using only a series of tongue clicks and nods? (It’s coming soon, I tell you.) There is nothing more ridiculous than watching a movie made in the early 80s and having a cool dude pull out a cell phone the size of a shoebox.
Thankfully, the film is not made in 3D, so none of the sex scenes feature things leaping off the screen. Not that I would object to that; I’m just really tired of those damn glasses. Although I would encourage the porn industry to look into that – there may be a use for this gimmick after all.
Barf Bag Rating: ZERO BAGS
Jalapeno Rating: ZERO PEPPERS
New Candidate for Best Abs in a Film: Move over, MARKY MARK, here comes JUSTIN!