Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friends with Benefits

The other night I rented the movie Friends with Benefits, starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. A few weeks ago I watched No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. A friend told me that I would probably relate better to FWB. When I saw it in the RedBox, I decided to see why.

I originally thought perhaps she meant that the story would more closely relate to my situation with one of my best friends. She neglected to tell me that Justin Timberlake's father in the movie has Alzheimer's.

In a nutshell, Mila Kunis is a headhunter who persuades Justin Timberlake to move from LA to NYC to take over as the art director for GQ Magazine. He has some reservations but agrees to take it. The two hang out together an awful lot. Their individual love lives are pretty crappy at the moment, so they decide to just have sex with each other with none of the emotional baggage involved.

I won't get into a lot of plot detail beyond this. But there is a point where JT goes back to LA to see his family. His sister tells him that their father is getting worse. Immediately I could recognize the Alzheimer's behaviors. Dad forgot that the boat had been sold, because he couldn't drive it anymore. My mother kept forgetting that they had sold her car because she no longer had a license and couldn't be trusted behind the wheel of a car. The dad doesn't like to wear pants anymore. My mother would layer tons of clothes, instead of taking them off. She knew how to put them on, but couldn't remember how to take them off again. JT bemoans the fact that his father was a very intellectual man and now sounds confused and is often wrong. My mother was one the most intelligent people I ever knew. She even skipped a grade in school. And then there are all of the conversations that are in and out of present reality. Sometimes JT's dad can have a logical and rational conversation and makes perfect sense. The rest of the time his thoughts are jumbled and incoherent.

I also related to JT's struggle to live so far away from his father. His situation required him to move all the way across the country, whereas mine is only 400 miles away. But that guilt about being far away is still the same. And I think JT did a great job demonstrating through the scripted speech as well as the unspoken facial expressions how the child of an Alzheimer's patient feels.

Friends with Benefits is a great romantic comedy. Yeah, I cried through a lot of the second half. But that was from relating to this unexpected subplot. If you like Mila Kunis or Justin Timberlake, you will enjoy a lot of skin. If seeing a lot of skin isn't your thing, then skip this one.

Did you see this movie? How did you feel about it?

Rent it from Amazon by clicking here. Or check out more about it by clicking on the picture below.

1 comment:

  1. Heard about this but haven't seen it. Don't know that I will as I don't watch too many movies these days and my wife prefers movies with a lot of action. She's not too keen on comedy, but then again English is not her first language so I guess some of the stuff she doesn't get.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge.

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