Friends With Benefits

Rated 3.0

Writer-director Will Gluck’s 2010 sleeper hit Easy A scored with audiences and critics who were satisfied enough with the film’s amusing throwaway bits and totally up-for-it cast to ignore the drunken lurches of its story. His follow-up is Friends With Benefits, and we might call it the Ultimate Will Gluck Experience—it’s almost nothing but amusing throwaway bits performed by another thoroughly game cast. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star as emotionally distant young professionals who attempt to balance sex and friendship while trying (and failing) to avoid the clichés of a typical Hollywood rom-com. They play their parts with such pop-culture-literate gusto, they might be auditioning for their own Dawson’s Creek spinoff, but they’re also charming and fun. So are the throwaway bits provided by Woody Harrelson, Patricia Clarkson, and, in the weirdest self-parodying cameo this side of Neil Patrick Harris, Olympic gold medalist Shaun White.