Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 3rd, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, June 12th, 2009 (Seattle True Independent Film Festival)
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Director: Gorman Bechard
Screenplay: Gorman Bechard, Ashley McGarry
Cinematography: Adrian Correia
Cast: Margaret Laney, Alex Brown, Anne Petersen, Jake Alexander, Lynn Mancinelli, Brendan Bradley, Marc Balfour, Irene Longshore, Stefanie Estes, Rooney Mara, Bill Fairbairn, Lynn Laurence, Ashley McGarry, Sam Dingman, Jason Yachanin, Tara Stiles, Tracy Podell, Zina Anaplioti, Kristian Kordula, Jakob Hawkins, Kevin Davis, Marissa Smoker, Cash Tilton, Cara Loften, Norm Golden, Emily Ward, Alexander Elisa, Christopher Jon Gombos, Carrie Anne James, Sybelle Silverphoenix
The film’s six main characters Chloe, Owen, Alison, Jeff, Shirley and Brad are all distinctively different personalities. Besides the main players in this romantic comedy, there are also a handful of colorful secondary players like a girlfriend who Queefs in her sleep and a bulldog with an unusual fetish. All the characters are well defined as we are exposed to their darkest fears and desires. One thing that further helps in defining who these characters are is the exceptionally written dialog.
Visually Friends (With Benefits) is director Gorman Bechard’s most accomplished film to date. The film also expertly uses a split screen and overlapping dialog to maximize the amount of information on the screen. Another area in which this film excels is how during the sex scenes / hook ups things never get to graphic. By showing less these moments resonate in way they would have not if the scenes were more gratuitous. Another familiar with Gorman Bechard’s other film’s (Psycho’s in Love, You Are Alone), knows that music often plays an integral part in the film’s narrative, Friends (With Benefits) features a superb soundtrack. Ultimately Friends (With Benefits), is an exuberant film about the ups and downs of friendship.