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Friends With Benefits [2011] [R] - 7.3.7



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A man (Justin Timberlake) and his colleague (Mila Kunis), both disappointed in romantic relationships, decide to become friends that have sex without any commitment. The arrangement is not as easy and emotion-free as they imagined it to be, especially after they meet one another's families. Also with Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Richard Jenkins, Emma Stone, Bryan Greenberg, Shaun White and Woody Harrelson. Directed by Will Gluck. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - About a dozen bedroom scenes feature a couple having sex under a sheet and getting up to go to the bathroom: We see both with bare backs, buttocks and legs as we see thrusting and hear moaning and we see the man's bare chest; we hear the man and the woman repeat phrases such as "kiss my ears," "lick my throat," "slower, some other women have a vagina made of burlap" and others; in one scene, it appears that oral sex is occurring once by turns for each of them under a sheet, there's moaning, the woman screams during orgasm and the man sneezes and says he sometimes sneezes when he ejaculates.
 In an office, a manager uses a big screen to bring up short videos of two women: One woman is nude except for a frilly belt-like skirt and is on her hands and knees scrubbing a floor (her long hair covers her nipples but we see breasts, bare shoulders, arms, abdomen, buttocks, thighs and legs); the other woman wears an apron and stands behind a counter (we see bare shoulders and breasts covered with yellow cake icing and she dips her chest into a large bowl of icing as the video ends).
 A woman sits beside a man on a couch and makes animal sounds, and smells and licks his armpits; they are interrupted by a phone call and the woman says that if it is not his sister, she will cut her. A woman visits her adult daughter, and walks in on her and a man in bed; the man and the woman dress quickly, we see bare thighs and legs and the mother hugs and kisses them both. Three scenes feature couples kissing on sidewalks and in a train station.
 Throughout the film, one woman wears short skirts that end at the upper thigh, revealing thighs and legs. A woman puts on panty hose in the back seat of a car and changes her blouse; we see her wearing a bra that shows cleavage and her bare abdomen is visible. A woman wears a white T-shirt without a bra and we see the outline of her breasts but no nipples; she enters a closet carrying a bra, comes out and we see the outline of the bra under the shirt. A sports reporter for a magazine stages a photo shoot with 6 men wearing only bulging jock straps; six women wearing only bikini panties run in, their breasts covered by sports equipment they are holding, and we see their bare shoulders, arms, hips and legs. Several women appear in a few scenes, wearing low-cut blouses that reveal cleavage. A senior citizen with dementia removes his trousers twice for dinner, once at home and another time in an airport restaurant; at the airport, his adult son also removes his pants for dinner while people stare (we see bare thighs and legs of both men under the table).
 A woman in her adult daughter's kitchen complains that her bananas are in the refrigerator; a man walks past the kitchen door on his way out and exclaims, "Your pants are coming down," suggesting she is about to use a banana for a sex act and her daughter yells and runs into the kitchen. In front of a theater, a couple argues: the woman tells the man that while they had sex at an awards breakfast, she did not want to put her finger into his rectum and does not want to be asked again (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man and a woman argue over sex and he tells her that her eyes are too big and creepy. A woman tells a man that she took another man's virginity, and the man asks, "Did the carpet match the drapes?" and she answers, "It was a hardwood floor." A woman tells a man that sex is like cracking your stiff neck and she just needs it sometimes, the man replies that sex is like tennis between friends, and that they should add sex without commitments to their friendship and she agrees. A man threatens a second man for being attracted to a woman that he likes. A reporter asks a magazine manager several times if he is gay, while the second man continually says no. A woman tells her adult daughter several times that she cannot remember the nationality of the younger woman's father.
 A man sits in a bathroom on a toilet hidden by a wall; he leans forward so we see his face in the doorway and complains that he cannot urinate with an erection; we hear loud urinating sounds in a few minutes.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A man and a woman sit on the Hollywood sign in California; a police helicopter flies over and tells them to get down, the woman jumps, but the man is scared, so the police wrap him in a blanket and transport him hanging from a gurney and dangling under the helicopter.
 Two couples ague and they break up because of sexual incompatibility and differing entertainment preferences. A man and a woman argue about how they should be able to be friends that have sex without commitment; in one such scene, she cries after overhearing him tell his sister that she is emotionally damaged, and she becomes angry and leaves and when they speak by phone after some time has passed they yell at one another. A man threatens to kill another man in two scenes, over a woman; he tells the other man he is a dead man. In New York City, a Californian is accosted verbally by new friends with threats of violence, after which they laugh and the Californian says that New Yorkers are vile. An elderly man at a family dinner table talks about having gas.
 An elderly man becomes confused in a restaurant, gets up from the table, stomps away and falls; he gets back to his feet, very angry over his memory loss and his need for help and he stalks out. An elderly man complains about having to use a wheelchair to exit an airplane.
 A man sits in a bathroom on a toilet hidden by a wall; he leans forward so we see his face in the doorway and complains that he cannot urinate with an erection; we hear loud urinating sounds in a few minutes.

PROFANITY 7 - About 26 F-words, 18 sexual references, 27 scatological references, 33 anatomical references, 10 mild obscenities, name-calling (idiot, fool, jerk, loser, dumb, elephant, gazelle, Prince Charming, Christ, MILF, doughboy, sellout, gay, liar, douche, fatty, monkey, slampiece, perverts, girl, carnie, damaged), 28 stereotypical references to women, men, fidelity, wives, homosexuality, lack of commitment, Harry Potter fans, senior citizens, New Yorkers, Californians, Baby Boomers, 5 religious profanities, 10 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A woman's mother lauds the 1970s when she and friends smoked grass and sniffed glue, and a man tells a woman that he has never transferred heroin for sale in his rectum. Ten bar and restaurant scenes feature people drinking from beer bottles and wine glasses at tables and a bar with a wall full of liquor and wine bottles, six apartment and house dinner scenes show people drinking beer and wine or champagne, in a bedroom scene we see a man and a woman dancing and drinking champagne, and two women drink from beer cans held in paper bags as they walk on the sidewalk. For a magic trick performed by a boy a woman ask for an imaginary cigarette to be lit and the child presents a flame from a device hidden in his sleeve.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, friendship, dating, sex, love, marriage, family, honesty, emotions, conflict, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Fall in love with your best friend.

Special Keywords: S7 - V3 - P7 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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