|Still from Friends with Benefits|
After the Sex-Comedy debacle that is known as No Strings Attached, releasing a Film about similar subject matter might seem like a bit of a risk, especially seeing how that one was panned critically. Studio Executives over at Sony Screen Gems who invested in Friends with Benefits need not fear though as they have on their hands what appears to be a Box Office smash.
What makes Friends with Benefits so enjoyable is not only its charming Cast - yes, that includes you too Justin Timberlake - but also that its Script and directing by Will Gluck (Easy A) equally are fantastic. Gluck has a knack at bringing to life smart and vulnerable Heroines and Mila Kunis as tough-shelled Job Recruiter Jamie from New York City, is pitch-perfect here. This is not to say that her counterpart Timberlake as wholesome newly-hired GQ Magazine Art Director Dylan, isn't also wonderful too as we have some fun watching him and Jamie struggle to keeping emotions separate from their purely sexual friendship. What ensues here is the natural and completely believable progression of Friends into Lovers and soon we find ourselves rooting for Jamie and Dylan and become involved in their own "damaged" lives. Their chemistry together is sexy and fun even though perhaps they are too aware of their becoming a cliché.
Gluck once again brings out his Power-Muse Patricia Clarkson as Jamie's Mother Lorna, delivering some of the Film's brighter moments and Woody Harrelson as a sex-obsessed Gay Sports Editor at GQ absolutely steals the Show with overt gusto. Jenna Elfman makes a welcome return as Dylan's Sister Annie, while the amazing Richard Jenkins as Dylan's aging and senile Father, gives the Story some true heart and soul.
I absolutely loved this Movie and could just as easily watch it a second time. Definitely one of the best Rom-Coms to come out in 2011 - although Bridesmaids still remains sacred to me. Sony Pictures releases Friends with Benefits on July 22, 2011. Grade: A