Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Friends

I think it's kind of interesting that the two female leads in "Black Swan" followed up with similar themed rom-coms. Natalie Portman earlier this year released "No Strings Attached" (with Ashton Kutcher) and now Mila Kunis has "Friends With Benefits" with Justin Timberlake. While Portman won the Oscar, though, it now looks like Kunis won this round with a sassy romantic movie that is the best so far this year.  Kunis and Timberlake wins because they have the best thing a romantic comedy should have: sure-fire chemistry. I won't even try to discuss the premise of the movie because it's not relevant at this point: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Becomes Friends With Girl. They try to have sex without commitment. I mean, we all know where all this goes, right? However, the fun of this film is how it gets there. Written and directed by Will Gluck (who did the fantastic "Easy A" last year) he gives these two fantastic word play in and out of bed. Kunis is perfection: doe eyed, sophisticated, clunky, adorable all at the same time. She's pretty but not icy, she's smart but you'll only realize it after you've only fallen in love with her. Timberlake is great, too. he has the screen presence and the irony needed for his cocky character to come alive. However, on scenes where he needs a little more depth, you can see his limitations. (I'm sure that will be remedied in time) This movie's support is just as interesting: Woody Harrelson as the stereotype with a twist sports columnist, Richard Jenkins as Timberlake's father with Alzheimer', and really now, can Patricia Clarkson do no wrong? Even in a sliver of a role as Kunis' mom, she steals scenes. This romantic comedy may be by-the-numbers, but I laughed, I felt like I was in love. I don't think Captain America can make me do that, even in 3D.

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