<I>Friends With Benefits</I>: Hey, It’s Better Than <I>No Strings Attached</i>!

On paper (or, in trailers) the new comedy Friends With Benefits bears a striking resemblance to the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher rom-com that came out a few months ago, No Strings Attached. They both feature couples who can't deal with the stress of dating, so they engage in some supposedly uncomplicated sex with their opposite-sex best friend in order to ease that tension. Naturally, they fall for each other in the process, because uncomplicated sex between friends is never uncomplicated in the movies. But FWB is a massive upgrade from NSA. Instead of Kutcher, we get the far more appealing Justin Timberlake. Instead of Black Swan's icy cold star Portman, we get Swan's sex kitten Mila Kunis. And instead of a typical rom-com, we get one that is self-aware enough to make fun of all of the clichés that these sorts of movies typically have. Now that's not to say that Friends With Benefits is the best rom-com of the year -- that title still belongs to Bridesmaids in my book. But it does deserve points for rising above the typical cheesiness of this sort of movie, and I at least left feeling entertained, if not exactly bowled over by the unoriginal storyline and the underwhelming final act.

<I>Friends With Benefits</I>: Annoying Things Couples Only Do in Movies

Spoiler alert (in case you haven't seen No Strings Attached or any other rom-com in your life): at the end of Friends With Benefits, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are going to fall in love. What's also obvious? All of the annoying, unrealistic crap they're going to do to lead them to that point, which we see all the time in these kinds of movies. Real-life couples don't do things like jump over fences and stand at the Hollywood sign in order to push each other to be daring, as these two fated lovers do in the FWB trailer. And before we begin: We aren't about to shit on the classics, which is why we're going to point out the modern films that ripped off these ideas and made them the pathetic clichés that they've become.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

by Ethan Alter November 29, 2011 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One pie, extra laughs, hold the pepperoni.

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