It seems that Justin Timberlake is determined to become a film star. Let me confess that I’m so estranged from the pop music scene that I had never heard of Timberlake prior to the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction that he participated in several years ago during their joint Super Bowl performance.
In fact, since I haven’t watched a Super Bowl cover to cover since 1967, I’m surprised that I ever got wind of the Jackson-Timberlake brouhaha. If it weren’t for the fact that the right wing press made a banner issue out of it, it probably never would’ve found a place on my radar screen.
Is Justin Timberlake funny? I can’t tell. It’s like asking if Frank Sinatra was a good actor. I’ve seen most of Sinatra’s films (the non-musical ones, at any rate), and whenever he’s on the screen, I can never forget the fact that I’m watching Frank Sinatra. I always expect him to break into a song.
This holds true even for films like “The Man with the Golden Arm,” an adaptation of the Nelson Algren novel, in which Ol’ Blue Eyes plays a card dealer trying to kick the heroin habit. Even when he’s writhing on the floor in a cold sweat, going through withdrawal, I expect him to snap out of it long enough to give us a snappy rendition of “Call Me Irresponsible.”
Of course, Timberlake doesn’t have the gravitas of the Chairman of the Board, but “Friends with Benefits” definitely tries to capitalize on his pop star rep, as you’ll see in the trailer below. As to whether Timblerlake is funny, you be the judge.
From the trailer, it looks to me as though the funniest thing in the film is Woody Harrelson, who has a supporting role. The hottest thing is definitely Mila Kunis, who I’d completely ignored until her recent appearance in “Black Swan.” It’s amazing what a sex scene with Natalie Portman will do for your career.