After his critically acclaimed performance in “The Social Network,” Justin Timberlake’s fans were eagerly anticipating seeing him in a role that would push his acting abilities to new heights. Unfortunately, “Friends with Benefits” is not that movie.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a rom-com, the film provides enough laughs and clever nods to the genre’s clichés to satisfy its intended audience.
Timberlake plays Dylan, a blogger from Los Angeles who moves to New York City to work for GQ magazine, with the help of headhunter Jamie (played by Mila Kunis). Both have been burned by past relationships and agree to a casual, no-strings-attached sexual arrangement.
As you might expect from a rom-com, the ending is predictable from the outset, but the movie still manages to deliver some genuinely funny moments. For example, there’s a hilarious joke about an iPad, a drunken rant about Katherine Heigl, and a reference to “Seinfeld.”
The film also benefits from some great cameo performances, particularly Woody Harrelson as GQ’s gay sports editor and Shaun White as a twisted version of himself.
However, the subplot about Dylan’s father’s illness is a bit of a downer and drags down the second half of the movie.
Overall, “Friends with Benefits” is a light and enjoyable movie that delivers enough charm and wit to keep audiences entertained. Although it may not be a groundbreaking role for Timberlake, it’s still a fun movie that’s well worth watching.