I go to a lot of movies. In fact, I’m on a first name basis with the manager of my neighborhood theater. I prefer action-packed thrill rides where the hero and/or heroine is in danger. My daughter thinks its funny that my taste in movies and television leans toward the darker side of life. One day we cataloged what I’d recently watched and nine out of ten involved guns or dead bodies. What can I say, my everyday life is pretty tame.
But every now and then I break out of my routine and go see a romantic something. One of my recent favorites was Friends With Benefits, staring Mila Kunis—That 70’s Show and Black Swan as headhunter, Jamie, and Justin Timberlake as Dylan, the brilliant advertising executive she recruits.
Their friendship is fun and quirky. You can’t help but smile at their chemistry. They’re the kind of people it would be fun to hang out with.Another reason the movie appealed to me because it starts out showing scenes about what so often happens between real-life couples—which we’re not really supposed to write into our books. They break up because it’s just not working. Either there’s no passion or one person takes the other for granted and the relationship just falls flat.
It’s about two people not really sure how the whole romance thing works in their busy lives. Friendship is easier. Of course, there’s that pesky missing sex thing. How great to be able to combine the simplicity of a solid friendship with great sex. Of course, it helps that they’re attracted to each other and that they can laugh together.
If you read the reviews, the movie got pounded for not showing us anything new. That’s probably true. It’s a romantic comedy about a couple of friends who decide they can have sex without strings only to find out that’s not the case.But like any number of romance novels with plots that have been done to death, the movie has some great characters. For my money, Jamie has a longer, more difficult journey to self-awareness than Dylan, and Mila does a nice job showing both strength and vulnerability in the midst of Jamie’s heartache.
The movie is set in New York City and I was feeling pretty nostalgic about my four days in the Big Apple as I watched them go to Times Square and stumble into a flash mob. Jamie and Dylan become part of the group and yet they are isolated because they don’t know anyone, a foreshadowing for how they become such good friends.
If you haven’t seen Friends With Benefits, I’d encourage you to give it a try.
I’d love to hear about a movie you’ve seen recently that you’d recommend.
Cat Schield lives in Minnesota with her daughter and their Burmese cats. Winner of the Romance Writers of America 2010 Golden Heart® for series contemporary romance, when she’s not writing sexy, romantic stories for Harlequin Desire, she can be found sailing with friends on the St. Croix River or more exotic locales like the Caribbean and Europe.
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