Screen Junkies » Friends With Benefits http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:02:10 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 ‘Friends With Kids’ Trailer = ‘Bridesmaids’ + Adam Scott http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/242286/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/242286/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:00:56 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=242286 Let's hope that these really attractive people find a way to work things out.

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Life is a complicated web of what-ifs. One decision can set your destiny and cause a ripple effect that shapes the lives of those around you. What Friends With Kids does is imagine what would have happened if Kristen Wiig‘s Bridesmaids character had found happiness with Jon Hamm. The results are pretty bizarro.

In addition to Wiig, Hamm, Maya Rudolph, and Chris O’Dowd, Friends With Kids also stars writer/director/Hamm squeeze Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott, Ed Burns, and Megan Fox. The action centers around two friends who decide to have a baby together out of convenience. However, that arrangement stirs up complicated feelings for the both of them. And their friends are all like, “Say whaaaat???!”

Let’s hope that these really attractive people find a way to work things out.

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How To Make A Film That Withstands the Test of Time http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/how-to-make-a-film-that-withstands-the-test-of-time/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/how-to-make-a-film-that-withstands-the-test-of-time/#comments Wed, 07 Sep 2011 15:17:48 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=227038 What do Wes Anderson films have in common with 'Clueless'? You can watch them a decade later without wanting to gouge your eyes out.

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As the type of person who regularly finds himself being spoon-fed cable movies as a result of a remarkably sedentary lifestyle, I’m frequently revisiting beloved movies of my youth with curiously mixed results. If one was to take a sampling of the movies I enjoyed from my childhood and teenage years, only a fraction hold my interest today. Of course, many of the rejects can be attributed to the fact that my tastes in films have changed. This is an easy, answer. Too easy, in fact.

It’s dismissive to assume that a film that fails to hold up after twenty or ten or two years is the result of a change in the viewer. Many of these films were not designed to hold up. Sprinkled with popular references, dated soundtracks, and borderline-retarded notions of what the future had in store for us, some films have a cultural shelf life that’s about as long as an episode of Access Hollywood.

The durability of films from this era is a curious phenomenon. One movie that completely exists in its time, like Clueless, holds up extremely well, having made the transition from “topical” to “charming,” while a movie like Wayne’s World captures a similar point in time and a similar niche, also developing its own weird vocabulary for its characters. I use these two examples because a) they act as an example and a cautionary tale, respectively, and b) both of these films were extremely well-received and regarded as “important” in their day.

So how does Clueless stay with us after these years, while Wayne’s World shakes out as borderline unwatchable? (Wayne’s World 2 even more so, but mostly because it’s just a terrible film)

These are just two examples of films that either fight or give in to the ravages of time. Comedies seem especially prone, as does any film that tries to tell us what the future will be like. The recipe to make a film popular at the time of its release is by no means the same one used to insure it’s popularity a decade, or even a few years later.

The touch-points required to last aren’t exactly rocket science, but striking the balance between contemporary relevance and durability is bit trickier. In order to ensure that I can sit around like a beached whale on Sundays while enjoying the highest caliber of entertainment from the past 20 years, I’ve compiled a definitive guide of how things should be done so that I may enjoy your film in 2017 as much as I enjoyed it in 2011.

You’re welcome in advance, Hollywood.

Stay Away From Technology You Don’t Understand. Seriously. Stay Away From It. You Never Will Never Get It Right And You Will Look Ridiculous.

Before I go any further with the categories and examples, it warrants mentioning that a bad movie, no matter how much it sticks to these magnificent guidelines I’m  laying out, won’t stand the test of time. It won’t be popular or “good” when it’s at its most relevant, so don’t expect it to age from vinegar to wine as time marches on. Bad movies will always be bad, whereas good movies can remain as such, or lose their luster over time.

Bad Examples: Disclosure, The Lawnmower Man, The Net, Hackers, Jurassic Park

Good Examples: You’ve Got Mail, Sneakers, Enemy of the State, Back to the Future 2, Jurassic Park

Make reasonable assumptions about the future of technology. When you make huge leaps forward, at least do them with enough creativity that they seem like an inspired inclusion (powerlaces, hoverboards, dinosaur cloning) rather than some half-assed stab at what the future might bring (any scene from 1991-1997 that involved virtual reality, hackers with nose rings).

If your cool characters are “techies,” make them cool people that happen to be techies, like in Sneakers, rather than people who are cool because they’re techies, like in Hackers or that obnoxious little girl Lex from Jurassic Park.

Move forward simply and no one will get hurt. You’ve Got Mail, while not a personal favorite, added simple logical elements (email, internet dating) to staid concepts (pen pals, blind dating). While AOL might as well be making buggy whips these days, the genetics of the concept nonetheless read as quaint, rather than ephemeral.

If you’re going to dabble in technology, think long and hard about how this will look in one short decade if you’re wrong. Don’t worry about what happens if you’re right. It happens so rarely, it’s not really worth considering.

Celebrity Cameos: Bob Barker, But Not Jerry Springer

Bad Examples: Austin Powers 2, Dodgeball, Friends with Benefits

Good Examples: Singles, Wayne’s World, Zoolander, Happy Gilmore, Jerry Maguire

If you want to allow your viewers to watch the film without being ripped out of its universe, don’t toss in some flavor-of-the-month that people will have to rack their brain to understand the significance of years after it occurs. Having your characters resolve their problems on The Jerry Springer Show wasn’t particularly inspired when Austin Powers 2 did it in 1999. It seems downright lazy and unfunny now, just like the Springer show itself. Same with Shaun White in Friends with Benefits, Ryan Seacrest in Knocked Up, and Tabitha Soren (or anyone from MTV) in Black Sheep’s painfully dated “Rock the Vote” scene. (Shame on you, Mudhoney. Shame on your eyes.)

Topical cameos can be funny, so long as they’re absurd or relevant enough to hold up. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where Billy Zane didn’t pop up in Zoolander, nor Pearl Jam in Singles. The fact remains that, in these universes, Zane was supposed to be at that fashion show and walk-off, and Pearl Jam were supposed to be dicking around at a coffee shop in Seattle in 1992. Dr. Evil and Scotty weren’t supposed to be on Springer, but they were there nonetheless. And it doesn’t feel right.

Bob Barker wasn’t supposed to be beating the living hell out of Happy Gilmore, but the absurdity of it sells it, because Bob Barker is so not supposed to be in the film, let alone punching Happy. That it’s ridiculous enough to swing back around to durable.

Further: No reality television star references or appearances. Ever.  No one in 2025 will be happy that Omarosa or Evan Marriott appeared in an Adam Sandler film. You probably don’t even know who those people are, which solidifies my point.

Click ‘Next Page’ to continue…

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Review: Friends With Benefits http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-friends-with-benefits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-friends-with-benefits/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 12:58:15 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=221027 Ultimately, it becomes the typical Hollywood comedy that tries to get serious in the end.

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Friends with Benefits is good enough that you won’t mind taking a date to it, though if you’ve had more than three dates I’d recommend you suggest staying in and renting No Strings Attached. Then you’ll be comfortable, laughing, a little sexy and who knows what could happen? Yeah, baby.

Fs with Bs seems to take a different stylistic approach to the exact same movie. Strings was more of a drama with jokes in it, and it’s actually shockingly good at that. So if Friends delivered a snappy, quirky farce it would distinguish itself. Ultimately, it becomes the typical Hollywood comedy that tries to get serious in the end, but that’s not heart. That’s cheap.

'Friends With Benefits' Red Band: More Casual F***ing

Mila Kunis seems like the coolest girl ever and that goes a long way. Jamie (Kunis) is a headhunter who woos Dylan (Justin Timberlake) to a New York job at GQ. The material lets her change character on a dime as she adjusts her sales pitch and messes with Ryan. Once he moves to New York, they hang out and Jamie continues to push his buttons.

Personally, I wouldn’t like a friend to be that inconsistent. Dylan just messes with her right back. I personally prefer to be nice to my friends in real life. For a movie though, it provides lots of snappy banter. When Dylan and Jamie try the casual sex arrangement, the montage (sextage?) plays it as a joke. The ticklish chin, the socks staying on, the oral errors, it’s all having fun, not taking the endeavor or its ramifications seriously.

7 photosMila Kunis

That dynamic remains strong when Dylan and Jamie actually start dating other people in front of each other. You think you’re cool with it? We’ll see how cool with it you are. Timberlake is as likeable as he is on SNL, self-deprecating his singing and math skills.

Then they introduce Dylan’s family and it’s “insert drama here.” His father (Richard Jenkins) has Alzheimer’s. Now Jamie’s mom (Patricia Clarkson) has already been introduced as a wacky irresponsible drunk. It’s not cute but at least it’s consistent with the tone. Playing the Alzheimer’s card, and Jenkins acting the hell out of it, is just frankly a dick move. Yeah, we get that Dylan and Jamie have family issues. You can’t be the heartwarming Alzheimer’s movie after the abrasive humor of the first half.

Also Dylan’s nephew is the precocious kid from Modern Family (Nolan Gould) who does botched magic tricks. Then there’s a part where Jamie overhears Dylan saying something about her. No Strings actually had smart characters protecting themselves and speaking up. When that couple split up, it was because Ashton Kutcher’s character knew Natalie Portman’s was going to hurt him. Yeah, it was about 20 minutes before the finale, but I was proud of the character for making the tough choice.

Friends promises to be smart about romantic comedies by making fun of their clichés, even having a fake rom-com within the rom-com. Yet this has just as much pop music as Dylan makes fun of, and ends with a romantic stunt cleverly foreshadowed in the first act. I guess you can’t just have a casually funny movie without it bringing up all sorts of issues. Come on, don’t be this obvious!

 

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‘Friends With Benefits’ Red Band: More Casual F***ing http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/friends-with-benefits-red-band-more-casual-fing/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/friends-with-benefits-red-band-more-casual-fing/#comments Fri, 15 Jul 2011 19:54:03 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=220473 Can this different set of best friends also be sex friends???

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6 photosEmma Stone

You know the drill by now. Characters who don’t talk or act like real people decide that they’re tired of relationships give casual boning a try. But wait a minute? What if they end IN a relationship with EACH OTHER? Man, they’ll be eating crow if that happens.

And Emma Stone asks Justin Timberlake to shit on her face. I’m sure he gets that all the time.

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Friends With Benefits http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/friends-with-benefits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/friends-with-benefits/#comments Thu, 14 Jul 2011 23:08:24 +0000 Reza F. http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=8487 Director: Will Gluck Cast: Emma Stone, Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Woody Harrelson Synopsis: The relationship between two friends gets complicated when they decide to get romantic. Release Date: July 22,...

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Director: Will Gluck

Cast: Emma Stone, Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Woody Harrelson

Synopsis: The relationship between two friends gets complicated when they decide to get romantic.

Release Date: July 22, 2011

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Movie Characters That Would Make The Best Friends With Benefits http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/movie-characters-that-would-make-the-best-friends-with-benefits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/movie-characters-that-would-make-the-best-friends-with-benefits/#comments Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:26:20 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=217718 Is it possible to have a prolonged sexual relationship without feelings getting in the way? Only in Hollywood.

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Is it possible to have a prolonged sexual relationship without feelings getting in the way? Only if one person is paying. But anything is possible in Hollywood, where these relationships seem to be all too common. In honor of the release of friends with benefits, we’ve compiled a list of movie characters who would make the bes friends with benefits.

Rizzo – Grease

What makes Rizzo a good candidate for this list? Well, she’s a bit of a slut. And while that in and of itself might not be a great reason, the fact that she actually sings songs about putting out puts her a few notches above your normal tramp.

Sebastian – Cruel Intentions

Sebastian is a total man whore. After all, he wants to bang his stepsister, so I’m pretty sure he’s down for having meaningless sex with you.

Mrs. Robinson – The Graduate

She’s old, she’s lonely, and she’s experienced. She’s also down for whatever and wants to keep things casual. Just don’t mess it up by going after her hotter, younger daughter, and you’ll be fine.

Annie – Bridesmaids

True, Jenny and Forrest did end up getting married. But let’s be honest, she was just using him for the health insurance. For most of the film, they were simply friends with benefits. Granted, Forrest didn’t get many “benefits” out of the deal. One night of sex and a premature ejaculation isn’t exactly a fair trade for a lifetime of devotion. But a lot of other guys took Jenny for a spin without any sort of commitment, so she made the list.

Note: Be sure to wrap up tight with this one.

Beth – 40 Year Old Virgin

Beth is not the kind of girl you’d want to bring home to meet the family. However, when it comes to causal hookups, she’s a great friend to have. She’s into some kinky stuff. She’d even let you put your bike in her trunk, if you know what I mean.

Nadia – American Pie

The fact that she’s incredibly hot and likes to look at porn is a great start. But the fact that Nadia is also an exchange student seals the deal. Yes, the accent is sexy. But the real benefit is that at the end of the semester, she’ll be on a plane headed back to her own country, which means there’s no chance for a long term relationship to develop.

Leon Phelps – The Ladies Man

Leon is smooth, sophisticated, and well endowed. And as his nickname indicates, he has no problem keeping things causal. If you’re a lady looking for no-strings-attached sex, Leon is your man.

Lisa – Weird Science

Of all the entries on this list, Lisa is number one. Why? Because she’s a friggen sex-robot. Talk about keeping it causal. If she somehow goes against her programing and decides she wants a commitment, you can simply bash he head in with a chair. There’s no law against killing robots…not yet, anyway.

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See Some Posters For ‘Real Steel’ And ‘Friends With Benefits’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/see-some-posters-for-real-steel-and-friends-with-benefits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/see-some-posters-for-real-steel-and-friends-with-benefits/#comments Mon, 23 May 2011 18:14:52 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213231 Which one has the robots, again?

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The upcoming movies Real Steel and Friends With Benefits are getting surprisingly positive buzz for movies that weren’t supposed to be any good on paper. Now we can see some actual paper on them in the form of posters you can see below.

The first one is for Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman, and I think it looks pretty cool. The logo is kind of generic, but I like the sports-meets-robots concept. Plus robots are cool, just in general.

The second one is for Friends With Benefits, starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as the titular “friends.” This one is a standard stars-making-kind-of-funny-faces poster, but likeable enough I guess. I take off 10 points for not having any robots though.

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Timberlake Goes Through A Kriss Kross Phase http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/justin-timberlake-goes-through-a-kriss-kross-phase-in-friends-with-benefit-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/justin-timberlake-goes-through-a-kriss-kross-phase-in-friends-with-benefit-trailer/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:08:29 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=201922 The new 'Friends With Benefits' trailer will make you want to jump. Jump.

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A new, less naked trailer for Friends With Benefits is online and affirms that everyone in Hollywood knows each other. Will Gluck‘s follow-up to Easy A also sports cameos from Emma Stone and Andy Samberg. Stone, of course, starred in Easy A and Samberg convinced Timberlake to stick his D in a box and Patricia Clarkson (who also appears). It’s also notable that Woody Harrelson (who co-starred with Stone in Zombieland) appears as Timberlake’s gay confidant. That is an intricate web of casting.

It’s only a matter of time before we see Mila Kunis play Woody Harrelson’s unlikely love interest as they butt heads while traveling to the group wedding of Justin Timberlake, Emma Stone, and Andy Samberg. Which will be presided over by Patricia Clarkson. Look for Goin’ To The Chapel by Spring of 2013.

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Kunis Is Timberlake’s Slam-Piece In ‘Friends With Benefits’ Red Band Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kunis-is-timberlakes-slam-piece-in-friends-with-benefits-red-band-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/kunis-is-timberlakes-slam-piece-in-friends-with-benefits-red-band-trailer/#comments Sat, 06 Nov 2010 03:55:43 +0000 Col. Longshanks http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=6983 After yesterday's posting of the No Strings Attached trailer, the film became an instant classic. So much so, that there's already a copycat. Today we have a red band, naughty trailer for Friends With Benefits, which stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in the Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman roles respectively.

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After yesterday’s posting of the No Strings Attached trailer, the film became an instant classic. So much so, that there’s already a copycat. Today we have a red band, naughty trailer for Friends With Benefits, which stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in the Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman roles respectively. In this version, two hot people decide to boink without labels. But they soon find that you can’t alternately boink and play soccer videogames all the time. That’s how love happens.

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Lake Bell Is A Friend With Benefits http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/lake-bell-is-a-friend-with-benefits/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/lake-bell-is-a-friend-with-benefits/#comments Fri, 14 May 2010 18:58:12 +0000 Reza F. We've held off reporting about Friends With Benefits up until now because the thought of Ashton Kutcher in a no-strings-attached sexual relationship with Natalie Portman makes our parts wither. Sadly, we've been put into a position where we would be remiss if we continued the embargo.Ivan Reitman has begun to wisely throw hottie after hottie at the project, and today there's news that the ridiculously sexy Lake Bell has joined the cast as Kutcher's co-worker. Olivia Thirlby and Greta Gerwig have also recently become attached. Great. Ashton Kutcher surrounded by hot women. Is this a movie-version of those camera commercials he's been doing? (Variety)

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We’ve held off reporting about Friends With Benefits up until now because the thought of Ashton Kutcher in a no-strings-attached sexual relationship with Natalie Portman makes our parts wither. Sadly, we’ve been put into a position where we would be remiss if we continued the embargo.

Ivan Reitman has begun to wisely throw hottie after hottie at the project, and today there’s news that the ridiculously sexy Lake Bell has joined the cast as Kutcher’s co-worker. Olivia Thirlby and Greta Gerwig have also recently become attached. Great. Ashton Kutcher surrounded by hot women. Is this a movie-version of those camera commercials he’s been doing? (Variety)

 

 

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