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“I really have to stop buying into this bullshit Hollywood cliche of true love. Shut up, Katherine Heigl, you stupid, little liar!”
What happens in your living room stays in your living room… What I mean is that I’m not here to judge you if you choose a film simply because of the attractiveness of its leading actors! Quite the contrary, Will Gluck directed the romantic comedy ‘Friends with Benefits’ (2011), starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, probably among the best-looking leading actors in a movie.
Can men and women be friends while enjoying some sexy fun? According to Hollywood, we could say so – but things are never as easy as they first look, even in the movies…
If you totally loved the sexy sparks between Dylan and Jamie, then you’ll love these ‘Friends with Benefits’-like movies.
“The war between the sexes is over. We won the second women started doing pole dancing for exercise.”
I am going to call this movie the “elephant in the room” because it’s an obvious movie choice if you like ‘Friends with Benefits’. I simply can’t help but include it in this list because I can imagine the furore if I didn’t, so there you go!
Without spoiling the ending, I would say you should definitely check this movie out because it benefits from a refreshingly clever plot for being a so-called romantic comedy. And, if you are a fan of Ryan Gosling – as we all are at the itcher office – then you have no reason not to watch this film! Plus, I just adore Steve Carrell, he’s just so funny!
The notion of exploring sexy friendships without too many strings attached is treated with a light touch and great comedic timing, while also adding a bit of emotional depth at the end (again, I won’t spoil it for you).
“You should never let a chick get in your head; that’s why I prefer not to even talk to my dates.”
It’s Vegas, baby! The lead characters, played by the equally gorgeous Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, win a huge sum of money in Vegas but the complication is… that they got married the night before after getting drunk and not knowing each other beforehand.
So, this is the reverse of ‘Friends with Benefits’ as these two don’t have any “benefits” (ahem) and they aren’t really friends!
In true Hollywood style, and just like ‘Friends with Benefits’, the story is about two people who get to know each other over time and end up falling in love. There, I said it. You get the happy ending. You’re welcome.
I think this is a good movie because the plot is well put together and is credible: so many people end up doing crazy things in Vegas but then they need to deal with the consequences. Even though this is a light-hearted romantic comedy, you can relate to the everyday feelings and situations in the film.
“I’m going to give you a Hawaiian name… Peepyopee!”
Same year, different story: “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (check out some great similar movies here) is the story of a break up, rebound, and rebound sex.
Starring Kristen Bell, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Russell Brand and – oh, look who’s there – Mila Kunis, there’s more “benefits” in the friendship between Rachel and Peter, played respectively by Mila Kunis and Jason Segel. Now, let’s have a standing ovation for Mr Segel and his impressive… benefits? I shall say no more on that topic!
There’s a lot of quirky comedy moments and a whole cast of good looking people with a very light touch of romance.
“I think last time we spoke we both kind of said some really nasty things that neither of us meant, like… you broke up with me… on my b-day.”
My colleague, Jane, recommends this movie in her list of movies like 500 Days of Summer and I really like her taste in films. It turns out that ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ is also a good match for ‘Friends with Benefits’.
There’s this element of sexual frisson throughout, with a crescendo of tension between nerdy Nick and naughty Norah that builds up through friendly flirting.
Random encounters are the best, especially if you have to pretend you’re someone’s boyfriends for 5 minutes: that’s the concept for the story, in which this unlikely couple (but they aren’t a couple) meanders through New York City and its glittering nightlife. I don’t know about you, but I find Kat Dennings hypnotising to watch and she has a great talent for comedy, although she excels at drama too – I was very impressed with her portrayal of Renee Yohe’s true story in ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ (Nathan Frankowski, 2012). Michael Cera is just adorable as Nick.
“Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today.”
Will they or won’t they? You are kept guessing throughout the film, which is beautifully shot and spans twenty years of friendship between the two leads, Anne Hathaway who plays Emma, and Jim Sturgess who plays Dexter.
This is the movie adaptation of the bestselling book by David Nicholls, who also wrote the script.
If ‘Friends with Benefits’ is more cerebral – even in supposedly steamier scenes where dialogue prevails over action – in ‘One Day’, it’s all about the subtleties and letting the viewer work out what’s happening.
“It is so nice when you can sit with someone and not have to talk.”
Directed by Rob Reiner, written by Nora Ephron (‘You’ve Got Mail’, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, ‘Julie & Julia’), ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is your typical “will they/won’t they?” film about friendship between a man and a woman.
This topic is sliced and dissected with plenty of humour and like ‘One Day’, spans over 10 years and follows the twists and turns of the protagonists’ life played by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal.
OK, Billy Crystal may not be a heart-throb, but humour is sexy, right?
I have a couple more quirky romantic comedies for you – if you want the fun to continue – but with a slightly different storyline.
“I think you severely overestimated your ability to break hearts.”
Miles Teller is a revelation – his performance in ‘Whiplash’ (Damien Chazelle,2014) was incredible, and before that role, he starred in a few romantic comedies.
‘Two Night Stand’ is the story of two people hooking up – the preamble is different from ‘Friends with Benefits’ as Megan and Alec meet through an online dating website and get stuck at his place because of a blizzard.
American Ferrera’s Ugly Betty days are long gone: she plays powerful seductress Silvia who’s in a demanding job and likes to play with fire.
Sure, this is not a comedy but more sexual in nature and its different levels of fulfillment are all there, with all the delicate implications that happen when friendship meets sex.
“What about you starting gentle like I asked, and then taking it at the angle that I really like?”
The back story to this film would need an entire article dedicated to it, so I’ll just refer to this article.
Don’t worry about the low ratings and the fact that this movie was panned by the critics: it’s absolutely hilarious!
I was laughing so much during ‘Accidental Love’ and I am sure you will, too. But there’s more to this film, starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal, who had great comedic timing. The supporting actors all put in good performances, too.
It’s like ‘There’s Something About Mary’ with a dash of political satire.
Since we just can’t get enough of giving and receiving great recommendations, we asked around in the itcher office if anybody knew some other great movies.
Ona, Editorial Executive, gave us three more movie titles straight away; ‘The Ugly Truth’, ‘No Strings Attached’ and ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’. She said that all these movies share the same two core ingredients: the flirting and the question about commitment. Sound good? Let’s check them out!
“You have to be two people. The saint and the sinner. The librarian and the stripper.”
A single-by-choice man helps a desperate woman make the man of her dreams fall for her.
If that sounds good to you, make sure to also have a look at these other movies similar to ‘The Ugly Truth’.
“I’m warning you, if you take one step closer, I’m never letting you go.”
This movie shows how two good friends suddenly become more than that by having sex. What seems to be a good idea at first turns into a threat to their friendship as one of them can’t keep things simply physical anymore.
“You see, the key to this game is being able to read people.”
A man and a woman who start dating solely for the purpose of an experiment find out that things don’t always happen the way you would expect them to.
Click here for more similar movies.
“He’s thousands of miles away from here. You don’t know what he’s doing right now. He could be in some bar, doing shots with some sexy bartender dry humping her.”
Do long distance relationships work?
Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are giving it a try here, but keeping the love alive is not always easy.
“That was a great story, Mike. That was… that was better than a great story, that was great television. I mean, that was bran with a donut. A bran donut.”
Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) has to revitalise the low-rated morning show she’s the producer of and decides to bring in the very famous anchorman, Mike Pomeroy. However, the news he wants to cover completely clash with the rather girly topics his co-host is interested in.
Of course, that’s not Becky’s only problem, she also has to deal with the consequences of having a romance with one of her colleagues.
Call me controversial but… without a credible and engaging storyline, even the sexiest actors can flop (and therefore, lose their investors millions of dollars, boo hoo).
Do you agree?
What movies have I missed?
Please share your recommendations with the rest of us!
**For a video playlist of the recommendations, please click here.