The story line of FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS sticks with the standard Hollywood formula for romantic comedies.
But Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis have good chemistry and their fast paced delivery of lots of witty dialogue will keep most audiences entertained.
The inspired pairing of these two attractive rising stars, Timberlake as Dylan and Kunis as Jamie, does a lot to make FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS appealing.
"No relationship, no emotions, just sex," she says as they formulate their agreement. "Whatever happens, we stay friends," he adds.
Another nice touch is an up-to-date use of smart phones for texting messages and photos. There's even a scene where the pair try to swear to their agreement with hands on a ipad 2 that contains, of all things, a Bible App.
And of course FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS takes advantage of the relatively new freedom for characters in movies to talk frankly about sex and other subjects that would have been taboo just a generation ago.
Another plus for the film is Patricia Clarkson as Jamie's alcoholic mother who's delighted to see her daughter in what she terms a 1970's agreement.
And there's also a feisty Woody Harrelson, as Dylan's gay colleague who advises him that it's not who you want to spend Friday night with that's important; it's who you want to be with all day Saturday.
The problem with this movie is that it is so predictable. It falls into the very romantic comedy cliches that it mocks early on. And once it does, the proceedings are a lot less enjoyable.
In spite of the fine performances and clever dialogue FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS never gave me an illusion of reality whereas, a really good film can sometimes make me forget that I'm even at the movies.