By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Romantic comedies usually follow the same, broad outline.
Boy meets girl. They start to fall in love. Something happens to mess things up. A grand gesture saves the day.
Since romantic comedies are tied to that formula, we don’t watch to see what happens. We watch to see how it happens.
“Friends with Benefits” is helped immensely by the combined talents of Justin Timberlake as Dylan and Mila Kunis as Jamie. They’re funny and down-to-earth performers, and their charm oozes off the screen.
Dylan and Jamie are a pair of emotionally distant high achievers who decide to have sex without getting bogged down with trying to have a relationship.
You probably can predict what will happen, especially if you saw “No Strings Attached,” a movie with a similar story line that was released earlier in the year.
But the “how” of “Friends with Benefits” had people in the theater laughing and engaged from start to finish.
In addition to Kunis and Timberlake, the movie features an oddball lineup of supporting characters played by Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson and Shaun White.
All four add their own touches to the film, and all four are blown away by Richard Jenkins as Dylan’s father. In my experience, Jenkins elevates any movie he appears in.
A four-person writing team, Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Will Gluck and Harley Peyton, gives this talented cast plenty to work with in the service of a formulaic and sometimes profanity-laced film. The results are entertaining, in a romantic comedy way.
I give “Friends with Benefits” a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7
She gives “Friends with Benefits” an A.