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July 25, 2011 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-25

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Monday, July 25, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
*Refreshing romantic flick with'Benefits'

By JENNIFER XU the fine
SeniorArts Editor ter - de
pelgang

If the plotline of "Friends with
Benefits" sounds a little familiar
(two heterosexual friends decide
that sex without
the relationship
is the way to go),
that's because Friends with
it was released
last January Benefits
under the name At Quality16
of "No Strings and Rave
Attached." This
is more than Screen Gems
enough rea-
son to skip the
trip to the theater, since "Strings"
was kind of shitty and no person
in their right mind would choose a
Natalie Portman remake over the
red, white and blue patriotism of
"Captain America." What a shame,
though, because "Friends" has the
unexpected benefit of being rather
fantastic.
Let's survey our pros, shall we?
Instead of staring at Portman's
diminutive ass, we get to gawk at

Swan").
gender s
lake ("T
his card
is a defi
Kutcher
had an
over you
age of 13
Tin
K
Cavea
message,
is not re
of "Whe
question
worn do
tedly, the
Timberla
crackle-p

- and some would say hot- Crystal and Meg Ryan. Yet in an age
rriere of black swan dop- of Katherine Heigl's overlarge jaw
er Mila Kunis ("Black swallowing up every movie poster
On the other side of the in town, it's rare for one of these
pectrum is Justin Timber- things to actually be good.
he Social Network") in all The real refresher of "Friends" is
ligan sweater glory. This the dialogue. The popular comedic
nite upgrade from Ashton technique of the day lies in the Apa-
regardless of whether you towian monologue, with bromances
*NSYNC poster hanging or ho-mances thrown every which
.r walls at the gooey, nougat way to make up for the lack of siz-
zle between the man and woman
in question. The style of "Friends"
is more reminiscent of the 1930s
screwball - witticisms spitballing
aberlake plus from every angle, eye flirtations,
pop culture references peppered
unis? Sex. here and there. Predictable to the
film's title, there are also a lot of
sex scenes, but they're imbued
with a good-natured exuberance
t: It must be said that the that takes away the uncomfortable
of"Friends" (and "Strings") sheen of its connotations. Not to
volutionary. Since the days mention that both Kunis and Tim-
en Harry Met Sally," the berlake look bangin' while in the
of girl-boy-sex has been nude.
own to pieces, and admit- Timberlake, a man as deter-
e chemistry of Kunis and mined to break into the Tinseltown
ake doesn't exactly snap- A-list as there ever was one, feels a
pop with the caliber of Billy million years away from the dread-

"No, I was not singing 'Sexy Back' in the sh
locked boy toy of the '90s. He does
a little bit of rapping, a little bit of
singing and a little bit of awkward
"Harry Potter"-fangirling, mostly
coming out on top. Kunis occupies
a bit of a one-dimensional, girl-
waiting-for-Prince-Charming role,
but she's natural enough to make it
feel real.
Like some kind of a movie-sav-
ing ninja, director Will Gluck has
silently but surely breathed life back

COURTESY OF SCREEN GEMS
ower!"
into the dying teen comedy genre.
What with "Fired Up!" in 2009
and "Easy A" the year after, Gluck
has carved a real niche for himself
in the Hollywood scene. Next, he's
slated to direct some TV movie
called "Iceland," about a group of
friends getting over a loved one's
death. Sounds Lifetime enough to
scare away the best of us, but with
his three-time golden streak, it
mightbe worth a shot.

Piccolo ' ,3 , s- PC7I4t4 e 0-/ i!,A.e L'cOlGt G Gj~ -.. .

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