Similar to the recent “No Strings Attached”, this rom-com asks the question, can you have sex without love or a relationship?
Of course if you are Milas Kunis or Justin Timberlake your chances will be somewhat higher than the average Joe but as an average Joe, you probably know the answer to that question already.
Maybe but it would certainly be difficult, human nature being what it is.
Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) is the archetypal young “designer type”, doing lots of flash stuff on a “Minority Report style” board and being paid lots of money to do art/design for a blog site.
Meanwhile Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) is a headhunter in New York attempting to fill a senior art/design position for GQ. Following a bad start at the airport the two meet and Jamie attempts to “sell” New York to Dylan by giving him the grand but secret tour, after a quick flash mob and obligatory out of bounds rooftop view of the city, Dylan is sold.
The pair then decide that not only have they become firm friends but the idea of becoming “bed buddies” is rather appealing, both being healthy specimens with compatible body parts, no strings attached, no nasty breakups and they will remain friends forever, all sorted.
We are then treated to the usual movie montage of sex scenes that are reasonably explicit in a main stream movie and on occasion stray into, “did we really need to know that much detail”, territory.
Timberlake and Kunis have good chemistry together on screen, making a believable young couple having a great time, with good jobs, lives and apartments.
Woody Harrelson pops up as a flamboyantly gay Art Director, befriending Dylan and adding a few good one liners, although the character is largely irrelevant to the story, aside of providing an audience view of Dylan’s thinking but it is always good to see Harrelson back on screen.
Kunis is sexy and natural, Timberlake plays an extension of himself and does nothing to dispel concerns over his range, following his excellent turn in “The Social Network”.
So far, just your usual sex comedy, the film then deviates from the norm by looking for some depth as Dylan introduces Jamie to his family. This takes on a more serious tone which does rescue the movie from some of the usual rom-com cliches. Not that it avoids them all, queue Hollywood sign rescue but there is an attempt to move away from the shallow end.
Jenna Elfman, Patricia Clarkson & Richard Jenkins all contribute to this widening of the story and add some necessary acting weight, providing perhaps the best segment of the film. Yet more demonstration, if it were needed, that generally good actors help to make better films.
As they say, “who would have thought….”
Fun in parts with definite sparks between the leads, an adequate rom-com for the under 30’s but older audiences may wish for a more chaste approach.
Marginally better than “No Strings attached” but overall adds little to the genre but at least aims a little higher, albeit falling short into acceptable date movie territory.