21 Apr 2014

ROM COM RULES - Friends With Benefits

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.  

Friends With Benefits references Rom Coms but does that be it is more than just one?

The following analysis may contain spoilers for

Friends With Benefits (2011)

Jamie is a headhunter who gets Dylan a job in New York.  They become friends and decide to have a purely sexual relationship without romantic attachment despite the obvious tell the she's obsessed with Rom Coms.

RULE #1 - The Characters

A:  The Couple - Jamie Willis and Dylan.
i.  Balance - The film is balanced between the two.
iii.  Opposites in Life - Headhunter and headhuntee, but that's minor.
iv.  Occupations/free time involving Romance or the Media - Dylan is in new media then an editor at GQ.

B:  The Best Friend/Confidant - Yes, along with every member of his family.

  • Tommy (Dylan):  Gay workmate.  Sleazy, whacky.
  • Lorna (Jamie):  Family, obviously.  Sleazy, whacky.

C:  The Third Person - They begin dating others.

RULE #2 - There Won't Be T&A

Sideboob, a few butts.  Frank sex scene, but with lots of sheets.  Batter covered breasts, models in next to nothing.

RULE #3 - The Meet-Cute

She was picking him up at an airport and ended up on the baggage carousel barefoot.  He later calls in "goofy but cute."

RULE #4 - Circumstances

Because he thinks he is emotionally closed off and she thinks she's emotionally damaged they decide to having a friends-with-benefits relationship.

RULE #5 - Realisation of Love

Probably mutually at his family home on her bed before they have sex after they start dating other people.

RULE #6 - The Break-Up

They begin dating other people but don't really break-up.  However, they do get back together briefly which changes their relationship leading to the actual break-up.
A:  Reason - Because she overhears him talking to his sister about him.
B:  Event - The day before the 4th of July, but not an "event."
C:  Humiliation - She is personally humiliated by his comments.  This is after he undergoes an actual humiliation of having to be rescued from the Hollywood sign.
E:  Turmoil - Both do.

RULE #7 - Separated Forever

He has a meeting for a new job offer at a suspiciously Amazon sounding firm, but nothing comes of that plot line.

RULE #8 - Redemption

A:  Giving Up Something Dear - Not really, just had to admit that they were both damged.
B:  Unusual Method of Transport - They used Tommy's boat to get home, but not really directly to get to her.
C:  Stunt - No stunt.
D:  Romantic Gesture - He uses a flash mob to imitate the romantic gestures in Rom Coms.

RULE #9 - Happily Ever After

They agree to be best friends again, have a "first date" and kiss passionately.

RULE #10 - Sequels

No sequels.  References many previous Rom Coms: Pretty Woman, The Ugly Truth and a fake one.


  • Rules that are followed in this film:  1A; 1B; 3; 4; 5; 6; 8D; 9; 10.
  • Rules that are partially followed in this film:  1C; 7; 8B.
  • Rules that are not followed in this film:  2; 8A; 8C.
~ DUG.

Check out this Blog to vote for a Showdown between Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached.

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