Movie review – A self-aware romcom cliche

2011-09-16 09:07

Film: Friends With Benefits (Ster-Kinekor)
Director: Will Gluck
Featuring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Richard Jenkins and Woody Harrelson
Rating: 7/10

There has been a rush of films this year with the premise of friends who decide to stay that way, but add sex to the equation.

They all end the same way – two people fall in love and discover that emotional mess is, in fact, what makes
us human.

It’s a bit odd that both Oscar winner Natalie Portman and her co-star in Black Swan, Mila Kunis, both picked the same kind of project as an antidote to the deep, dark place that Black Swan took them to.

Portman teamed up with flop master Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached, which was released earlier this year.

Friends With Benefits, which stars Kunis, is pretty much the same story, but well executed with plenty of wit.

Kunis has a comedy background and is so much more suited to this genre than Portman.

The story – which is self-aware enough to refer to romcom cliches – is filled with them.

Kunis is a recently dumped headhunter who lures Justin Timberlake from California to New York to take a job at a fancy magazine.

He’s a commitment-phobic, good-time guy with a tragic past. So far so unremarkable, but the script is well written and the supporting cast is hilarious – Patricia Clarkson as the free-spirited mother, Jenna Elfman as the sensible sister and Woody Harrelson as the gay sports writer.

Friends With Benefits is a bit of froth for a Friday night that will work equally well for date night as it will for ladies’ night.

Either way, you will emerge as a Kunis convert.



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