The romantic comedy genre is one that requires frequent innovation to stay relevant and fresh because of the constantly shifting ideas of the modern generation about love, relationships, and sex. One such film that widely changed the notion of rom-com without damaging the feel-good factor commonly associated with the genre is ‘Friends With Benefits’ starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in the lead roles. It is directed by Will Gluck and revolves around two twenty-something friends adding sex to their friendship.
Despite their romantic feelings for each other, Dylan and Jamie insist their current arrangement is best suited for them. The film is known for its unique humor that allows the characters to make self-aware comments about rom-coms while remaining emotionally relatable for the younger generation. Naturally, the question of the story taking inspiration from any true stories or actual incidents is bound to arise in the mind of the viewers. Well, allow us to answer this specific question for you.
Is Friends With Benefits Based on A True Story?
No, ‘Friends With Benefits’ is not based on a true story. It is based on an original idea from director Will Gluck, which he came up with to fulfill his strong desire to work with the lead pair of Timberlake and Kunis. The ‘Easy A’ fame director sheds light on the movie’s conceptualization in an interview with Moviefone. He said, “There were a couple of actors I wanted to work with, so I wrote it for Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. I wanted to do more of an adult movie about sex, too, and about relationships.”
In an interview with Movieline, the director further elaborated on the idea behind the film. He stated that much like most adults of this generation, the film’s main characters Dylan and Jamie, have grown up on romantic comedies. The two characters compare their situation by making references to rom-coms and commenting on the genre’s many tropes and clichés throughout the film. “They’re very cognizant that they’re in this story … but they end up embracing the fact that they’re going through a romantic comedy moment,” said Gluck.
The film’s personality and sense of realism lie not within the story but with the perspectives and world views of the central characters. This is partly thanks to the director’s admiration of the two lead actors and the decision to retool the screenplay to their strengths. Gluck spent almost a month working with the two actors to make the script more personal and fine-tune the characters to closely match the perspectives of Timberlake and Kunis on the film’s various subjects.
The actors brought their real-world sensibilities to their respective characters, which largely shapes the movie’s humor and distinguishes it from other films in the genre, particularly ‘No Strings Attached,’ a film that deals with similar themes. For the uninitiated, the Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher starrer was titled ‘Friends With Benefits’ at one time during production as well. Ultimately, ‘Friends With Benefits’ is a fictional story that owes its emotional resonance to the nostalgia of rom-coms shared by the modern generation above anything else.
Read More: Where Was Friends With Benefits Filmed?