Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friends with Benefits (2011)

What do you want? It was 100 degrees today. Alan Smithee needed somewhere to escape the heat, and this showing of FWB was conveniently timed.

This film should have been called Friends with Benefits and Emo Music given the amount of whispery songs about feelings it contains. Mila Kunis, who stood out in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, does an adequate job, and Justin Timberlake matches her competence level. Only in the opening scene, when Kunis is intercut with Smithee favorite Emma Stone (and pales in comparison), do we notice something lacking. The numerous sex scenes are, like all sex scenes, boring, even more so because they take place between creepily buff young people and/or their butt doubles.

Like a lot of mainstream films these days, the supporting players (Patricia Clarkson, Richard Jenkins, Woody Harrelson, Shaun White) make the whole thing watchable. Harrelson in particular, as a butch gay man, entertains.

"Alan," you ask, "should I pay good money to see this in the theater or just wait 'til they show it for free on cable?" Given that this type of film attracts an audience of texters, talkers, and other sociopaths, Alan Smithee would advise you to wait.

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