Friends with Benefits
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -4

Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins. Romantic comedy. Written by Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Will Gluck. Directed by Will Gluck.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Failing in their personal lives, two upwardly mobiles decide to just be friends, then friends who have sex. They declare upon a Kindle Bible that they will have no emotional attachment. Theyíll just sex whenever the itch arises. But as their friendship grows, everyone else discovers what the audience knows will eventually happen Ė they fall in love.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I guess this premise must sound good to studio heads, because itís a film that keeps getting made. Most recently, Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher tried it in No Strings Attached. And of course, the characters always discover what we already know - sex without love doesnít ultimately satisfy.

Rather than attempting any true insight or emotion, the makers of these movies, especially this one, just keep seeking for situations and dialogue that startle the audience. Itís the I-canít-believe-I-just-saw-that factor that makes us laugh in these movies, not wit or observational relate-ability. The sex talk is graphic, and the dysfunctional families are cartoonish and also crude. I think thatís where todayís Hollywood puts all its energy when it comes to this genre. Thereís little observational humor, just raw buffoonery, generated mainly from shock value.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing

Crude Language: Crude sexual comments as well as several sexual situations.
Obscene Language: A few minor expletives
Profanity: Three profane uses of Godís name and one of Christís.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: A great deal of sexuality, both in graphic situations and dialogue. Woody Harrelson plays a gay co-worker Ė his character is unable to finish a single conversation without including some sort of crude sexual reference.
Nudity: We see both leads nude from the backside in one scene.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Lots of drinking, and some drunkenness.
Other: None
Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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