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Friends with Benefits

Comedy . Romance

While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood romantic comedies, Dylan and Jamie soon discover however that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications.

Actors: Justin Timberlake , Mila Kunis , Patricia Clarkson , Woody Harrelson , Nolan Gould , Shaun White , Jenna Elfman , Bryan Greenberg , Richard Jenkins , Masi Oka
Directors: Will Gluck
Country: USA
Release: 2011-07-22
More Info:
  • Mike Scott

    The result isn't just the best new romantic comedy released so far this year, but one of the best comedies, period.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Chemistry is king. It's one reason the rom-com has long seemed like the toughest code for Hollywood to crack. But never underestimate the power of snappy, rapid-fire banter, the paving stones of the Hollywood road to romance.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    It works because Timberlake and Kunis are totally in control of their damaged characters without winking at the audience, as if to say: "Aren't we cute, behaving so naughty?" Their sex is amusingly awkward, and their repressed longings more so. It's the kind of chemistry that comes along once in a generation.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • David Denby

    Friends with Benefits is fast, allusive, urban, glamorous - clearly the Zeitgeist winner of the summer.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Alison Willmore

    It's after the sex friends go back to being just friends that the film really hits its stride, and that's also when the excellent Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins enter the picture as loving but imperfect parents who help explain what's made both leads so gun-shy.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Goes a long way in bringing sexy back to a soggy genre, benefiting greatly from the presence of its likable leads.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Anita Li

    It's a tired formula moviegoers know well, but in the case of Friends With Benefits, it works.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Chemistry is the usually misfiring engine that drives romantic comedies, so it's a pleasure to report that Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are practically combustible together in Friends With Benefits.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The takeaway on Friends With Benefits is that mores change, styles change, the rules change, and even humor changes. (There are two jokes involving apps, of all things, that are pretty funny.) But people's emotional needs remain the same from era to era.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    That it works like a charm - that it mostly keeps its manic energy in check, and that it plays to chick-flick formulas without ever groveling - is due almost entirely to the leads.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Unchallenging but easy to like. There's not enough here to capture the interest of those indifferent to romantic comedies, but fans - even of the casual variety - will find this to be a pleasant mid-summer diversion.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Romantic comedies - and this is one, in spite of its phony irreverence - turn largely on star power, and theirs is transcendent, whether they're casually trading one-liners on the streets or doing running commentary on their sexual escapades. They'd have been better off staying in bed.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    I enjoy both Timberlake and Kunis; just this side of manic, they seem right together.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The news about this movie is that it makes it clear that both Timberlake and Kunis are the real thing when it comes to light comedy.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    A dumb, by-the-numbers romantic comedy. Yet I kept finding small things to enjoy in it, mainly because of the two hard-to-hate leads.

    Slate Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    On the whole, Friends With Benefits is a rewarding summer diversion, albeit one that's fatally torn between what it wants to be -- riotous, anarchic and anti-moralistic -- and the disappointing wet-blanket formula it reverts to in the end. Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    The screenplay, with credits shared by Gluck, Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, is predictable, plotwise. But it is elevated by energetic dialogue, the sexual chemistry between the leads and the fact that the miscommunication that keeps bliss at bay - there's always one in a rom-com, and usually it is annoyingly unbelievable - is plausible.

    Time Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    The jokes don't all work and the topical references can be irritably hipper-than-thou, but at least director and cowriter Will Gluck (Easy A) aims high: this is patterned on the Tracy and Hepburn comedies, albeit with a lot more skin.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    The results are about as naughty as that sounds (not very), but it also makes for a fairly giggling good time.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    I'm not exactly sure this is a situation that a lot of people are going to identify with. More to the point, it gives the movie a faulty design. Dylan and Jamie sleep together and get along famously. Where's the dramatic motor?

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    The middle of a movie is often where filmmakers lose their way, but Friends With Benefits nails this stretch, in which nothing very remarkable happens as two people talk, in bed and out of bed. There's a fine line between fun-dirty and ick-dirty – sometimes you can't identify the line until it's been crossed – and this film keeps its toes on the right side of raunch.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    When it's good, Friends With Benefits is quite good - especially as it skewers rom-com clichés.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    If Kunis gets the showier role in Friends With Benefits, Timberlake proves a quietly charming stalking horse, finally claiming and fully owning the spotlight with a hilarious homage to the 1990s rap duo Kriss Kross.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    A bait-and-switch comedy. It poses as a naughty "no-mance" about friends who use each other for casual sex, but at the moment of truth it goes limp.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Instead of gleaning something from real life, the great minds behind Friends With Benefits slapped their ideas together based on screwball classics, "Sleepless in Seattle" bits, and a keen analysis of Hollywood hackery.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Anna Smith

    This coasts along just fine thanks to charm and comical interludes, but it fails to deliver the sassy story it promises. Fine for a romantic comedy, but an inferior follow up to director Gluck's edgier "Easy A."

    Empire Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    It's cute and funny and sweet, which - as any woman can attest - puts it way ahead of most Friday night options.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Even with all their huffing and puffing, this very salty, often funny affair is never quite as satisfying as it should be.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    By poking fun at the cliches, director Gluck thinks he can turn an inevitability into an in-joke. Eh, it'll do.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    The raunchy premise here is just a smokescreen for the sort of squarely moralistic, altar-bound comedy of which even Jane Austen would approve.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    Watching these two actors move from being sweetly flirtatious to doing real emotional battle may not entirely compensate for the movie's other failings, but it goes a long way toward making amends.

    NPR Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Their banter is fun at the start until it becomes relentless.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The movie is pleasant overall and occasionally comes up with a big laugh. When the movie's over, though, it evaporates from memory, just like a one-night stand that didn't go nearly as well as you'd hoped.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Patricia Clarkson is kind of funny as Jamie's mom, an unreformed hippie. And Timberlake and Kunis get in a few good laughs before it's over. But with such a well-worn story, you can't shake the idea you've seen this kind of thing before.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Every actor in Friends with Benefits, including the nearly indestructible Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins, stalls out in the process of pedaling desperately to make this substandard material work.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Andrew Schenker

    For a film that had once made some pretense toward exposing such dangerously submissive attitudes toward Hollywood romance, Friends with Benefits's conclusion can't help but seem more than a wee bit disingenuous.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Melissa Anderson

    What's most crushing is witnessing what should have been the dream pairing of Kunis and Timberlake - both foxy, loose, confident performers - here generating zero chemistry.

    Village Voice Full Review
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