Friends With Benefits: A Saturday Afternoon Movie

Recently, I was watching a movie on Netflix and decided to write a blog about it. The movie is called Friends with Benefits and stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. I wasn’t expecting much from this movie but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Friends with Benefits is a movie about love, sex, and  the social networking that has become a part of sex and love. I was pleasantly surprised when the movie turned out to be great (better than the 3 stars Netflix gave it) with humorous characters, a solid story-line, and a great cast of characters to keep the movie exciting. What is so likable about Friends with Benefits is the movies tendency to make fun of the genre of romantic movies.

In the film, Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) a plucky head hunter for a firm in New York recruits Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) to work for GQ Magazine. She convinces him to work for GQ by selling him on the city of New York and its lively lifestyle. Jamie is not afraid to take on any man and her character has energy and vibrancy. Knowing no one else in the city, Dylan quickly becomes platonic best friends with Jamie.

One night while they are watching Pretty Woman, Jamie and Dylan come to the conclusion that sex shouldn’t have to come with emotional attachment. As both feel the need to connect physically, they have several sexual trysts and become friends with benefits.

The director in the movie surmises that the characters and audience are sick of the romantic cliches found in romantic movies so he switches things up so our two main characters are having sex, but no love is apparent between them at this point in the movie. Secretly (or not so secretly) the director knows the audience adores the cliches that make romantic movies likable so he pokes fun at these cliches creating a bit of a raunchy romantic comedy. In the end, we still infer that Jamie and Dylan will be together.

I really felt the sex scenes in the movie were realistic to a real life couple having sex, as opposed to many fabricated sex scenes in the movies. It takes time for Jamie and Dylan to discover what the other likes in bed, and they aren’t shy about what they want because there are no romantic feelings between them so they won’t hurt each other’s feelings. They are also hilarious and relatable, one of my favorite lines was when Jamie told Dylan if he didn’t start shaving the stubble on his face she would stop shaving down there, and she was dead serious.

Dylan has never brought a girl home before and after Jamie’s boyfriend walks out on her, he invites Jamie to California where he and Jamie share a genuine night of passion unlike either of them has ever experienced before. The cutest part of the movie is when they show each other their tattoos and Dylan has a Harry Potter lightning bolt tattoo on his lower stomach – he is still a bit of nerd beneath the corporate adult and I think many people who enjoyed and grew up with Harry Potter would find the Harry Potter tattoo relatable to their generation.

Sadly, while Dylan develops feelings for Jamie, he tells his sister defensively, that he doesn’t care for Jamie romantically, that Jamie is only a friend, and that there is no real intimacy between them. Jamie is heart-broken overhearing this and leaves California for New York without offering any explanation of why she left.

Dylan wonders in New York why Jamie refuses to talk to him, and when they finally get in touch, Jamie reveals that she heard everything Dylan said to his sister and has no interest being with him. Even though the movie tries to make  romantic comedies look dumb, we end up in the same place as we would in a typical romantic comedy, with the the big-screen couple separated from each other by their own stupidity. Despite the movies misrepresentation of typical romantic comedies you still feel yourself rooting for Jamie and Dylan to work their problems out and become a couple.

Later, Jamie discusses her relationship issues with her mother and Dylan with his pantsless father at the airport; in fact Dylan joins his dad and takes off his own pants and they sit in the airport restaurant, eating breakfast in their boxers. Dylan’s father suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, mistakenly thinks a woman in the airport is a woman he met in the Navy – the love his life whom he let go, and has always regretted the decision to leave. He cautions Dylan not to do the same in his life and if he has any chance of saving his love, Jamie, to go and find her now – and Dylan does.

I thoroughly recommend this movie as a naughty but light-hearted comedy to see with your friends or significant other. The characters are

funny and interesting and the topic of whether sexual trysts require intimacy and connection is a relevant question in today’s world. When so many women and men are just ‘hooking up’ with each other, can we really keep our emotions separate from our sex lives?  Still, many women and men manage to have purely sexual relationships well, but I think the movie suggests that a friends with benefits relationship often turns into a real relationship, even if the movie does mock romantic movies to begin with.






MAC Mineral Foundation and Powders

Lately there has been a big push for women to use mineral makeup because it is supposedly a healthier makeup for your skin. It’s not so much what is in mineral makeup but what is left out of mineral makeup. Mineral makeup leaves out preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, chemical dyes, and fragrances. Many dermatologists recommend mineral makeup based on the fact that these omitted ingredients are possible skin irritants.

New York dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD says. Mineral makeup is “much less likely to cause a reaction in women with sensitive skin. And because it doesn’t contain oil, it won’t aggravate acne-prone skin.” As well, Chicago dermatologist Brooke Jackson, MD, who uses mineral makeup herself, suggests it to her patients with rosacea and eczema. She also recommends it to women with sensitive skin. “Women in their 30’s and 40’s will come in and say they have bathroom counters filled with products that have caused reactions because of one ingredient or another,” Jackson says. When these women  “try mineral products, many are finally able to wear makeup for the first time in” years.

“Mineral makeup will not . . . replace your moisturizer, acne cream, or anti-aging serum . . . But it does offer some excellent skin care benefits. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are both found in Mineral makeup and act as physical sun blocks, so an even application of mineral makeup provides some sun protection.” But if you’re going to be spending hours outdoors on a sunny day, choosing a sunscreen with an SPF 45 is critical. Zinc oxide is also an FDA-approved skin protector in mineral makeup. “It has some anti-inflammatory properties. “Since mineral makeup [has] a higher percentage of zinc oxide than traditional makeup, it [is] useful in calming irritated skin.”

MAC Mineralize Moisture foundation ($42) is a nice mineral foundation. The only thing that I do not love about it is that it is so ‘moisturizing’ which means that if you are prone to have oilier skin it is a good idea not to wear moisturizer underneath your foundation as the foundation can make your skin look greasy. Mineralize Moisture Foundation is supposed to give your face a dewy youthful look but this look may not suite everyone and you may want to try one of MAC’s more matte foundations such as Match Master SPF 15 foundation or my favorite MAC’s 15 hour Pro Long Wear Foundation.

Generally, I find Mineralize Moisture foundation to be a foundation that covers well, especially when you put MAC Mineralize Skin finish pressed powder over the foundation. However, I find that MAC’s mineralized makeup is not long wear. Long wearing is an attribute I often look for in a makeup. Instead, I have been using  MAC’s Pro Long Wear foundation despite the fact it is not  a mineral makeup because it does not melt off your face half way through the day and because it does not make your skin appear oily.  Mac claims that Mineralize Moisture foundation is a “combination of powders [that] create . . . an optical blurring effect that diminishes imperfections and fine lines, for [an] even tone. The light-reflecting, natural satin finish makes skin appear refined, revitalized, and refreshed with a new purity, softly lit from within.”

You have 2 choices when it comes to MAC mineralized pressed powders. Your first option is Mineralize Skinfinisher Powder ($35) that has “ [a] luxurious velvet-soft powder with high-frost metallic finish” that smooths on and “adds buffed-up highlights to cheeks and brows, or an overall ultra-deluxe polish” to your face. So if you are going for a more luminous look in your makeup this would be a fantastic finishing powder for you. But as for me, I chose MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Natural ($35) which I find better for every day. It’s easy enough to add shiny highlights to your face with other makeup hi-lighters when you are going out somewhere special. Mac holds that it’s Natural Skinfinish makeup is “[a] luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to [give] a dimensional yet natural-matte finish.[It] provides a perfect low coverage finish [and is used] to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day.” What I absolutely love about this powder is that it dulls out most of the shininess from the liquid Mineral Foundation. Since it is matte it looks better on women with different skin types, especially those with acne prone skin. My only complaint is that it doesn’t quite give the coverage other powders do and wears off quicker. Although mineral makeup may be better for your skin, I think I will use the powder as a finishing powder when I go out at night and stick with my Clinique Pressed powder and MAC’s Pro Long Wear Mac foundation for its excellent skin coverage.

Mineral makeup powder maybe great for some more sensitive skin types but it lacks certain aspects important to women using makeup such as long term coverage and a matte application. It can also make your skin oilier if it has moisturizing properties.