Friends With Benefits Directed by: Will Gluck Starring: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson Rating: R Release Date: July 22, 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 5/10
Thoughts by TSR: Friends with Benefits is the type of film that gives me little hope for the future of movie-making. From the very start, the production was plagued with issues of over-familiarity, such as title and even plot. The problem with Friends with Benefits isn't that we've seen this movie before, with No Strings Attached. It's that we've seen it before, and it wasn't very good back then, with no signs of the premise getting any fresher.
I will admit, I've got some hope for this. The appearance of Emma Stone, in what will undoubtedly be little more than a cameo, was a nice surprise this time around, but cameos alone do not make the movie. It's nice to see Patricia Clarkson back with Gluck after Easy A, but once again, I find myself more excited about the bit parts and the supporting players than I am about the leads or even the story.
What is perhaps the easiest way to describe it is actually a line from the trailer itself. "Aren't we too old for this?" After watching the trailer several times, I keep returning to that question. Director Will Gluck has proven his comedic abilities to me with Easy A but I can't help but feel that the high school setting of the movie helps its humor along. With Friends with Benefits, it does seem that these characters are too old for this little game that they're playing or the humor they're selling. It might be a fun little escape, but the inevitable message of the movie, plus some of the gags can't help but cheapen the relationship between the movie and me.