"Commitment Over Casual Carnality"
What You Need To Know:
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS is very entertaining. The actors deliver appealing performances. The father-son subplot is richly acted and beautifully written. However, there’s so much foul language and explicit content that media-wise viewers will want to skip FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.
(PaPa, HoHo, B, LLL, V, SS, NN, AA, M) Strong pagan worldview with strong homosexual content, slightly mitigated by some moral elements in premise; at least 65 obscenities and 23 profanities, including numerous uses of “f” word, especially in the first half; male lead also notes that the female lead always blinks nervously when she swears, indicating she doesn’t like to use the language but does so anyway to fit into the group; light comical violence stems from a couple of brief scenes in which real-life snowboarding champion Shaun White verbally threatens to physically beat the male lead in fairly graphic yet comedic fashion; several sex scenes, extensive dialogue about sex, promiscuity, and a homosexual character; upper female nudity, plus rear female and male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, lying, couple hides their true feelings, and father is deteriorating mentally from Alzheimer’s Disease, but dealing with this tragedy makes the son be a better person and take his romantic relationship more seriously.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, a new romantic comedy, leads to a positive ending, but contains a lot of explicit content and a secondary homosexual character that’s annoying. That is sad, because, without such content, it could have reached a bigger audience that may want to hear its positive message of commitment.
The movie stars Justin Timberlake as Dylan, a magazine art designer, and Mila Kunis as Jamie, a corporate headhunter. Dylan and Jamie meet when Jamie recruits Dylan to become the new art director at GQ magazine and convinces him to move from Los Angeles to New York to take the job.
Dylan and Jamie are both lonely and have been recently burned by other relationships. They decide they want to attempt being friends without any of the complications that come with a more developed, committed relationship. Thus begins a series of depicted sex scenes, though the movie also always makes it clear that these two really have a strong friendship as well. Meanwhile, Dylan is approached by the magazine’s macho yet sodomite sports editor, who keeps insisting a male art director just has to be homosexual.
As Dylan and Jamie try to keep things emotion-free, they start to realize they can’t, with Jamie particularly burned by a seemingly nice doctor who flees from her after he sleeps with her. Meanwhile, Dylan is called home to Los Angeles for the Fourth of July weekend because his father is slipping further into his affliction with Alzheimer’s Disease. Dylan has had years of emotional distance from his father, so his sister wants him to reconnect with his father before it’s too late.
This father-son subplot is richly acted and beautifully written. It’s a hallmark of how deeply layered the screenplay is for a movie of this genre. Dylan has asked Jamie to spend the weekend with his family for emotional support. This nonsexual aspect of their relationship helps them realize they have deeper feelings that need to be addressed.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS is very entertaining. Also, the ending stresses commitment in romantic relationships over sex. Sadly, there’s so much strong, excessive foul language and explicit content that media-wise viewers will want to skip FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.
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