Bottom line, FWB more than passes my rom com test. The movie successfully takes jabs at the cliches romantic comedies are often saturated with. The raunch of the language and obvious subject matter works because there is humanity behind it. The characters are well developed and have back-stories and families. Plus, the two leads live glamorous bi-coastal lives that they work hard for so they still seem attainable and relatable. And they are hot.
Though I appreciate the Black Swan/That 70s Show connection that binds them beyond their subject matter no end, there is no contest, Friends With Benefits is far superior to No Strings Attached. When the time comes for a cliched moment in FWB, it does so by winking at the audience. You get your cake and to eat it too.
Rom coms get a bad rap but they are among my favorites. When done right. Unfortunately for every stellar one, there are dozens of bad ones. Something Borrowed is the worst one I have seen in recent memory. Not every one can be When Harry Met Sally.
Many lines and elements have remained memorable in the days since I saw the flick Saturday. Not specific to FWB, to all movie marketing, some of the best lines are ruined because I had heard them repeatedly beforehand. I even fast forward through the clips shown when actors are on talk shows, I do what I can to keep it fresh. I refuse to go to movies less or not arrive in time to the trailers. There were a couple of jokes I was surprised to hear laughter after, merely because I knew them so well by the time I saw the movie. Hollywood really needs to take notes from JJ Abrams and Super 8, less is more people, less is more. In this summer movie season, I can not wait to re-watch Bridesmaids and Friends With Benefits.