Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits – Will Gluck – Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in this abrasively perky romcom, bouncing through its lightweight world of artifice and beauty with effortless sitcom efficiency. There are many films that make New York seem iconic, alluring and dam near mythical (King Kong, The Apartment, ManhattanTaxi DriverMidnight CowboySaturday Night Fever, Mean Streets, The Godfather, Escape From New York, When Harry Met Sally…, As Good As It Gets, American Psycho, The Squid and the Whale…just a very eclectic and random few) but this film manages to make New York seem as vacuously anonymous as the resilient cheer, and inevitable relationship lows of the two character-less characters. Both Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are assigned their yuppie characters with over familiar broad strokes: the uber-driven, afraid to commit, but mischievously charming man of work – whose suit hides his puppy dog heart and a family problem (here it is an offensively slapstick portrayal of Altzheimers); Milu Kunis as the stunningly good looking, inhumanly buoyant, successful avatar of business know how, while still fostering a ‘girl next door’ accessibility (so beloved of American romance…*cough* Jennifer Anniston *cough*) and a wayward, hippie-esque mother . To return to the character assassination of New York, which Mila Kunis introduces Mr. Timberlake to with excitable pride, perhaps the main reason for its grating nature is the recurring incorporation of dancing ‘flash mobs’ as a plot driving, romantic motif. I wanted to vomit – everywhere. For a film that tries to imagine and depict a relationship simply about sex (that hard to navigate ‘fuckbuddies’ terrain) it trips up on all the conventions it superficially shrugs off in the ‘bubbly’ script. 3/10

Ah...such japes!

No comments:

Post a Comment