Friends With Benefits a Sexy, Standard Rom-Com
You know where it's going, but you probably don't care
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2011 2:21 PM CDT
In this publicity image released by Sony Screen Gems, Justin Timberlake portrays Dylan, left, and Mila Kunis portrays Jamie in a scene from "Friends with Benefits."   (AP Photo/Sony Screen Gems, David Giesbrecht)

(Newser) – Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis may not break any new ground in Friends With Benefits, but critics are largely giving the sex-filled rom-com the thumbs up:

  • "The jokes don't all work and the topical references can be irritably hipper-than-thou," writes Andrea Gronvall of the Chicago Reader. "But at least director and cowriter Will Gluck (Easy A) aims high."

  • Time's Mary Pols writes, "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."
  • "Friends With Benefits isn't nearly as original as it pretends to be," writes Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News. "But it's cute and funny and sweet, which—as any woman can attest—puts it way ahead of most Friday night options.
  • But it's not just cute: it's sex-filled, notes Juliet Lapidos for Slate. "There's a lot of sex (fun sex, not weepy sex), and lots of talk about sex." But "aside from the heavy cursing and the shots of Timberlake's bare bottom in fairly graphic sex scenes—you see him clench—Friends With Benefits" is pretty generic in terms of rom-coms.