Feature

Friends With Benefits

The connection between Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake is “so electric” that “the entire movie could have survived—and thrived—on 90 minutes of pillow talk,” said Scott Tobias in the A.V. Club.

Directed by Will Gluck
(R)

***

Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake “go together like blinis and caviar,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Their chemistry turns a story that we’ve seen fail before into a charming confection that recalls great pairings of Hollywood’s yesteryear. She’s a “hard-charging” Manhattan headhunter; he’s a “sly and playful” Californian. After she brings him to New York City to fill a magazine job, their decision to start sharing a sex life while trying to leave love out of it doesn’t become simply a summer reboot of January’s dreary No Strings Attached. In this relationship, “she’s the guy and he’s the girl,” and the gender role reversal works brilliantly. Friends With Benefits is “not always comfortable in its own skin,” said Claudia Puig in USA Today. It satirizes romantic-comedy clichés before embracing them, and its tone veers “from raunchy to silly to heartfelt” without ever blending the three. Yet the pairing of Kunis and Timberlake makes such flaws irrelevant, said Scott Tobias in the A.V. Club. The stars’ connection is “so electric” that “the entire movie could have survived—and thrived—on 90 minutes of pillow talk.”

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