Friends with Benefits: 2.5/5
From the director of Easy A comes a new way to look at romantic comedies...well sort of, but not really. This movie had a lot going for it until the final act. It was really funny, though sometimes it had its cliches, but it wasn't until the 3rd act where it was apparent that there were so many of them hidden (but again...not really so much) in the film throughout.
The cast was great, the jokes were solid, it was just the little bit where it pretended to not be something it is: a generic romantic comedy. I enjoy some romantic comedies, but not many. I usually like the ones that go above and beyond, or really understand its genre. I would say to name a few The Devil Wears Prada and The Holiday are two of my absolute favorites. I was really pleasantly surprised with Easy A last year, so I thought that this movie would have that same feel. Well, I didn't know that same feel would compromise originality. The 3rd act of this movie ended the exact same way as Easy A. The girl had her little mommy talk (with the same mom, too) and the beau swept the protagonist female off her feet with a boom box, but this time there was also some dancing involved. But wait...Easy A had a little song-and-dance number too, so I guess that really wasn't too original either. Maybe the only new thing was the father-son chit-chat that was no different than the mother-daughter one. If the movie hadn't made a big deal about being super knowledgeable about the formula of rom-coms, maybe it could have made more sense, but the fact that it did made the ending all the more cliche. I don't appreciate films trying to fool me, I find it a cheap trick that writers try to put in to make me feel like they're smarter in the end. However, when the credits role I do not feel like the writer was smart at all, but a fool for trying to fool me.
Although, the film had something that was really special, and maybe (somehow) the writer should have focused on that. The father with alzheimer's was terribly sad and brought complete silence to the audience. It produced some pretty powerful scenes, but in the end the subplot all went flat when he thought he saw his "only true love." It was a cop out, and a disappointment.
I would probably keep this on for a few moments if I saw it on TV, but probably not for too long. It's worth viewing if you're a fan of that genericy rom-com, but if your not it's probably a miss in theaters. With all these theatrical summer blockbusters out like Captain America and Harry Potter, I say you should wait for the dvd!