Trailer Wednesday: F*&% Buddies Edition

Yes, you read that right. Over the past week, we’ve been bombarded with romantic comedy trailers, all of which center around the quest for or involving f*&%ing. There are a whopping four trailers for rom-coms to feature today on Trailer Wednesday.

That’s a fucking lot.

We start with two films specifically about friends who decide to complicate things with sex. “No Strings Attached” with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher and “Friends With Benefits” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Looks like our rival ballerinas from Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming “Black Swan” are now rivaling for a hit rom-com in 2011.

The second two are the Farrelly brothers’ (“Dumb and Dumber,” “There’s Something About Mary”) comedy “Hall Pass” about husbands getting a free week to sew some oats and Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in “Just Go With It,” about a man who uses his assistant as his “wife” in order to land the ultimate hottie.

No Strings Attached

This material perfectly suits Ashton Kutcher based on his body of work, but I have to seriously wonder what Natalie Portman is doing in this film. Ivan Reitman directs, which would seem like a great thing — if this were the ’80s or ’90s. Lately, the “Ghostbusters” director’s resumé has consisted of  “Evolution” and “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” albeit he spends a lot more time producing.

I have to admit though, Portman’s involvement gets to my gooey side and the supporting cast is well-assembled: Cary Elwes, Kevin Kline, Olivia Thirlby (“Juno”), Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg”), Mindy Kaling (“The Office”), Ophelia Lovibond (“Nowhere Boy”) and Lake Bell (“It’s Complicated”). I certainly will admit I’d be totally dismissing this if it were Jennifer Aniston and Ashton Kutcher instead.

“No Strings Attached” comes out Jan. 21.

Friends With Benefits

Ready for some dejá vù? Swap Portman for “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “That ’70s Show” star Mila Kunis and swap Kutcher for Justin Timberlake. There you have it, “Friends With Benefits.”  The only apparent difference is that “Benefits” seems to go more for the comedy angle.  Will Gluck writes and directs, the guy who delivered the hit fall comedy “Easy A” with Emma Stone. Stone makes an appearance in this film too along with Patricia Clarkson who know plays Kunis’ hysterical (as in funny) mother. Other supporting cast members (aka the friends) are Woody Harrelson, Jenna Elfman and Andy Samberg.

The trailer makes “Benefits” the latest film to exploit a ’90s alternative rock song, but that aside, Kunis and Timberlake should be great. Kunis has been lauded in everything she’s done lately and if you haven’t noticed that Timberlake can act (and well, I should add) lately, you should find out July 22. Yup, that far away. A very early marketing campaign to say the least.

Hall Pass

The Farrelly brothers have delivered some of the most hysterical comedies of the last 15 years and their most recent attempt expands on the oft-explored idea of married men getting a free pass to sleep with whomever they like. By the looks of the trailer, looks like feminists (and monogamists) will have this one in their crosshairs.

Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star as the two men given a week off their marital commitments by their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate), who want to prove to them that no hot young things are interested in them anymore. Game on. Hilarity on. The trailer shows promise — I like that SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis has been given the opportunity to step it up. Much like my theory with “The Hangover,” sometimes it’s not about freshness of content, but of character and acting. Get your hall pass on Feb. 25.

Just Go With It

The duo of Adam Sandler and director Dennis Dugan look to rebound (critically, not financially) from this summer’s “Grown Ups” this Valentine’s Day. “Just Go With It,” is the story of a bachelor who’s been pretending to be married for much of his life in order to score girls sans commitment who finally meets the girl of his dreams (supermodel Brooklyn Decker). When she spots his fake wedding ring, he doesn’t come clean and pretends he’s getting divorced, which ends up roping his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) into the mix as his “wife” and eventually her kids and “their kids.”

This is by far the most traditional rom-com approach that Sandler and Happy Madison have ever taken. The hope must be that Aniston can help attract the female demographic that tends to despise Sandler’s films. If he can rope them in, “Just Go With It” should perform very well starting on Feb. 11.


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