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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

What We’re Watching: Hatchet movie picks

Hatchet reporter Rachel Milkovich shares her latest movie obession.

Friends With Benefits” (2011)

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One of my favorite summer movies was “Friends with Benefits” starring Mila Kunis as Jamie, a tough girl yet hopeless romantic, and Justin Timberlake as Dylan, a creative, quirky newcomer to New York with Kunis as his guide. The movie, directed by Will Gluck, explores the dynamics of platonic friends who have casual sex.

The topic of friends with benefits in movies has been a recent trend, fascinating movie-goers.  The theme was last seen in 2010’s “No Strings Attached,” with starred Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. After seeing both movies, Kunis and Timberlake’s portrayal of an exclusively physical relationship seems more realistic, and if all else, funnier.

The relationship between Jamie and Dylan begins as strictly friends who share the same frustrations with their love lives, after simultaneously being dumped by their significant others – humorously played by Emma Stone and Andy Samberg. After watching a fictional chick flick, with cameos from Jason Segel and Rashida Jones, Jamie and Dylan vent to one another about the clichés of romantic comedies and abruptly decide to indulge in a sexual relationship without commitment.

Cleverly poking fun at the common rom-com, the verbal sparring between Kunis and Timberlake seamlessly pulls the plot forward.

Initially, it appears that Jamie and Dylan’s relationship will work, as they confide in one another and form a strong friendship. However, Timberlake’s character (obviously) manages to wound Kunis’ character’s sensitive heart and must make a grand romantic gesture in order to win it back.

While Kunis’ portrayal of Jamie is sassy and lovable, in comparison, Timberlake’s Dylan fails in terms of realism. I thought this was disappointing, as Timberlake has previously demonstrated satisfactory acting abilities, for example, his role as Sean Parker in “The Social Network.” It felt as if Timberlake was relying too heavily on the more exaggerated humor in the dialogue, and neglected smaller opportunities for character development.

In the movie’s entirety, I felt that the first half of “Friends with Benefits” successfully avoided the stereotypical aspects of romantic comedies. Although the latter half was indeed more farfetched and cliché, I do understand that these scenes were necessary to neatly wrap up an ending in which Kunis and Timberlake end up together.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Director: Will Gluck

Cast: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson, Woody Harrelson

Release Date: 22 July 2011

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