A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid the sexual content, the message is that true love wins out, and that's always heartwarming and uplifting. But the movie makes a big deal about how romantic comedies raise unusual expectations about love ... and ends up doing the same thing itself.
Positive Role Models
Both Jamie and Dylan have good hearts and are actually supportive of each other. Jamie's mother isn't always mindful of her daughter's needs, but there's no malice, and Jamie is forgiving to her. Dylan, though pained by his father's Alzheimer's, is kind and solicitous.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
You name it, they depict it (though there are no full-frontal shots or total nudity): Oral sex, intercourse (in many different positions and places), etc. There's plenty of raunchy talk, too, about both straight and gay sex, as well as open discussions about which acts are pleasurable and which aren't.
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Frequent (if not relentless) use of everything from "f--k" and "s--t" to "damn," "a--hole," "goddamn," "d--k," "p---y," and "c--k," though not a relentless amount of usage.
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Products & Purchases
Some labels/brands, especially GQ magazine, which is name-checked a few times. Some placement of Sony products, including a Vaio laptop and an Ericsson phone; T-Mobile is mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking at parties and in bars and restaurants.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this R-rated romcom stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as adult friends who decide to make their relationship sexual with no commitments (hence the "benefits" of the title). Consequently, there's plenty of frank, direct sexual talk and content, with partial nudity, simulated sex acts, innuendoes, and free-wheeling discussions about sexual preferences and relationships. There's also social drinking and swearing (including "s--t" and "f--k"). It's adult fare, but it does ultimately have positive messages about true love. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS may be formulaic, but surprisingly it's still pretty good. It tries hard to rise above the romcom cliches -- even going so far as to mock the fantasies that the worst movies of the genre spin -- though it inevitably follows the same trajectories, serving up a happily-ever-after ending that the audience spots from the moment the two leads meet.
Still, Friends with Benefits is surprisingly entertaining, thanks in part to Kunis -- who combines comedic chops with gorgeous-but-approachable looks and a winning personality -- and a parade of gifted supporting actors (Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, and the always tip-top Patricia Clarkson and Richard Jenkins) who can do no wrong. Timberlake manages to stay above water; sometimes, he's even persuasively charming. Yet you have to wonder what this movie could have been had it not given into the expected outcome, coming up instead with an ending that would still be satisfying but bold and -- dare we say it -- more realistic. No such luck.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.